Tignyemb concedes: We can't host

Patrick Tignyemb of Bloemfontein Celtic and Cameroon understands CAF's Afcon 2019 call. /Gerhard Duraan / BackpagePix
Patrick Tignyemb of Bloemfontein Celtic and Cameroon understands CAF's Afcon 2019 call. /Gerhard Duraan / BackpagePix

While he's disappointed about his country being stripped of the rights to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroonian goalkeeper Patrick Tignyemb concedes that the central African nation is not ready to host the event.

CAF confirmed last week that next year's Afcon would no longer be staged in Cameroon due to a lack of progress in the completion of facilities.

Following the announcement, South Africa and Morocco emerged as the frontrunners to become replacement hosts. Developments this week suggest that the North Africans have pulled out of the race, leaving SA as the favourites.

The Bloemfontein Celtic stopper, from Douala in the south of the country, felt that his country avoided embarrassment.

"I am very disappointed but to be honest we are not ready to welcome all those stars from Africa and the fans," he told Sowetan. "Part of me is happy because we have avoided having a big shame of hosting a poor tournament. I think we can prepare for the next one so that we can have more time.

"Everybody is angry, people are crying about this but if we stop to think, maybe CAF was right. They say the stadiums are 50% ready so there is no way that we will cover the other 50% in five months."

Legendary former Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Roger Feutmba reiterated the sentiments of Tignyemb.

"It's not only about the stadiums but the roads and hotels are not of good quality at the moment," said Feutmba, who is also from Douala.

Apart from infrastructure issues, the country also faces internal strife, with tensions between French and English speakers.

"That's another issue," Feutmba said. "We can't be hosting a party [the Afcon] while people are dying in some parts of the country."

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