After hosting a successful Chan 2016, Rwanda is expected to make a bid to Caf to host Africa’s biggest football tournament, Afcon.
With the next four editions already allocated to mostly West Africa, Rwanda will be looking to become the first East African nation to host Afcon since its inception in 1957 when it was hosted in Sudan.
Gabon will host the next Afcon in 2017 before Cameroon hosts the 2019 edition and Ivory Coast and Guinea host the 2021 and 2023 editions. The 2025 edition is the ‘nearest’ one that Rwanda can bid for.
Speaking to supersport.com, Chan 2016 Local Organising Committee spokesman Emmanuel Bugingo said: “For bidding, that is a decision from Government. From what we have seen during Chan 2016, we know that Caf will appreciate and support the bid.”
Caf vice-president Almamy Kabele Camara affirmed that Rwanda had shown that they were ready to host Afcon, a tournament that has the same requirements as Chan.
“The expectations regarding hosting Afcon are the same as those for hosting Chan. Rwanda has blown us away with the level of organisation at Chan 2016,” Camara said earlier.
“Everything from the infrastructure to transport, security, telecommunications, accommodation and food, everything has been great. Everyone from Caf, participating teams and fans have appreciated the good work.”
“It is now up to the Rwanda Government and football officials to bid for Afcon and we shall look into it, but I believe Rwanda can host Afcon.”
Bugingo admitted that Rwanda has gained massive experience from hosting Chan after hosting smaller youth tournaments earlier, including the 2009 Africa Youth Championships and the 2011 Africa Under-17 Championships.
“We acquired more experience with Chan. This is more serious and we have more technicians now. We can now help other countries,” said Bugingo.
Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa, was an Afcon venue in 1962, 1968 and 1976 with the following editions being shared mostly between West and North Africa.
South Africa (1996 and 2013) and Angola (2010) are the only southern African nations that have hosted Africa’s biggest football competition.