Afcon could cost SA well over R140m

Afcon could cost SA well over R140m.
Afcon could cost SA well over R140m.
Image: 123RF/ MTSARIDE

Hosting of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will come at a big price for SA.

SA and Morocco have been asked by the Confederation of African Football to consider hosting the tournament in June next year after the disqualification of Cameroon for failing to meet CAF's stipulations for readiness to host the tournament.

With a minimum seven stadiums needed by the host country, SA and the North Africans tick the boxes. But as the SA Football Association awaits the government's green light to host the showpiece, it's expected that the tournament would come at a cost of R140m.

Acting CEO Russell Paul admitted to Sowetan yesterday that Safa doesn't have the funds and will have to rely on the government, CAF and big business to foot the bill.

"At this stage we have no idea and we are waiting on CAF to give us the methodology of how this thing works. Safa doesn't have the money to be able to do this, but we will have to work with CAF, business and government to see how the funding model would work," Paul said. "We have requested a meeting with government and we have to wait for government to give us a final approval to move in any direction."

Show Safa get the go-ahead, it would not be the first time SA comes to CAF's rescue in ths fashion. step in to host. The country hosted the 1996 Afcon and won it on home soil after Kenya withdrew as hosts due to their lagging behind in the improvement of facilities.

SA also hosted in 2013 because of the war in Libya.

For the successful hosting of the Afcon in 2013, SA's government coughed up R102m according to its financial reports and CAF contributed R54m. 

2013 Afcon crowd attendance

Except for the final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso, which attracted 85 000 fans at FNB, most of the matches were played in front of poor crowds.

Nigeria won the tournament under the guidance of the late Stephen Keshi, but in other parts of the country, the tournament attracted little interest.

The quarterfinal clash between Ghana and Cape Verde, won 2-0 by the Black Stars, was witnessed by 8 000 people at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in PE.

The matches involving Bafana had better numbers with 45 000 watching as they lost 3-1 on penalties to Mali at Moses Mabhida Stadium.