President of the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria’s Amaju Melvin Pinnick has given assurance that this year’s finals, which hold in the Arab Republic of Egypt between 21st June and 19th July, will be a roaring success despite being the biggest –ever event in the history of the championship.
The first –ever Nigerian to head the organizing committee for the biggest football championship in the continent, Pinnick flew into Cairo on Sunday and will be in the Arab Republic of Egypt till the end of the championship.
On arrival in Cairo, he was on line to thenff.com: “I am delighted at the general arrangements. The variables and specifics we agreed on in our meetings over the past months have been brought to life by the local organizing committee and the staff of CAF. Everything looks great.
“Of course, there have been concerns in several quarters over the little time that the Egyptians had to prepare for the competition, but we could all see from the show they put up hosting the Draw Ceremony that they are always ready for the big event. I have confidence that all will go pretty well.”
Egypt 2019 is the biggest AFCON in history, with 24 teams to battle for honours over a period of 28 days. It’s a pretty long way from the beginning, 62 years ago, when only THREE teams contested the inaugural AFCON in Sudan.
The North African country hosted the finals in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006, but has had less than six months to prepare for this big show. The Confederation of African Football snatched the hosting right from Cameroon, judged not to be ready, at the end of November 2018 and awarded it to Egypt only in January this year.
However, work has gone remarkably well in all the designated centres and CAF and the LOC have in abundance persons with institutional knowledge and dedication to drive the process for a hitch –free tournament.