Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that it has stripped Cameroon of hosting next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
According to CAF, it is because of delays in the progress of Cameroon’s preparation for the tournament, due to start in June and in the midst of a violent separatist rebellion near two of the planned venues.
Officials made the decision at a meeting on Friday in Accra, Ghana, that lasted more than 10 hours.
Caf president Ahmad Ahmad says it will work to “determine a new organising country by the end of the year”.
The tournament is set to be the first held in June and July and will be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
Ahmad said last year that Cameroon still needed “to convince Caf of its ability” to host the event, with the country playing down fears sanctions would be imposed if preparations were deemed to be behind schedule.
But in August the chairman of Caf’s Nations Cup organising committee, Amaju Pinnick, said: “nobody is going to take it away from Cameroon”.
Morocco have been touted as potential hosts, having stepped in to hold this year’s tournament after Kenya were deemed not ready.