Abidjan(National Times)- The Executive Director of the Ivorian Football Federation, JB Sam Etiasse, has written to the public in relation to the Confederation of African Football (CAF)’s recent decision stating the position of the country in relation to its hosting right of the 2021 edition of the African Cup of Nations(AFCON).
Etiasse’s letter dated December 4,2018, a copy which The National Times read through is seen as a quick reply to CAF’s President Ahmad Ahmad’s recent overtures suggesting that Cameroon could host the 2021 continental soccer showpiece.
A November 30 decision of the Executive Committee of CAF stripping Cameroon of the right to host the tournament in 2019 is what has since put the African continent on the course of football politicking.
Etiasse in his communiqué maintains that Ivory Coast was awarded the right to host the tournament following a meeting of CAF’s Executive Committee held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in September 2014.
He maintains in the release that on the basis of that decision, his country is not a candidate to host the tournament rather it is the rightful host of the AFCON in 2021.
He insists that as at the evening hours of the release, no Ivorian authority has been consulted by CAF to discuss any recent decision taken by the football body.
The Executive Director said before taking such a decision, no Ivorian authority was ever consulted.
In the letter, the football authority writes that on the basis of such drifting, that a letter has been addressed to CAF formally to make known the feeling of Ivory Coast on the issue.
The communiqué with reference number 676/FIF/DEX cites Radio France Internationale (RFI) as propagating such information since December 3.
Besides announcing that Cameroon could host the tournament in 2021, CAF’s Ahmad Ahmad is quoted as having written a confidential letter to Cameroon’s Head of State, Paul Biya on the issue.
Days before the Presidential election in October this year, Ahmad told Biya and the Cameroonian people that CAF had no plan B for the 2019 AFCON. Today, the story is different.
The same kind of assurances Ahmad has made to Ivorian President Alasane Draman Ouattara that the body has not second plan for the 2021 AFCON.
Pundits predict the tussle may result in a cold war between both countries given the political gains of football in both countries.