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CHAN 2020: Could CAF Replace Ethiopia As Hosts?

CAF raises questions about the preparedness of Ethiopia for CHAN 2020.

Barely nine months to the long-awaited kick off of the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament confirmed for Ethiopia, the continental football governing body has raised questions about the East African nation preparedness to host the tournament.

According to reliable sources, the ability of Ethiopia to host the tournament that is set to start from 4th January and end on 2nd February 2020 was discussed at length during CAF executive meeting on Thursday, April 11 in Cairo.

Doubts on Ethiopia’s ability to host the tourney surfaced earlier last month when the head of CAF’s CHAN organizing committee Almany Kabale Camara visited the country together with outgoing CAF secretary general Amr Fahmy.

Ethiopia FA president Esayas Jira has already admitted that his country would be able to host the tournament, saying the preparations are behind schedule.

“The stadiums are not ready and next year being a (parliamentary) election year also makes it tricky for us to host this event,” Jira told BBC Sport.

“I’m worried as President of the EFF because although we are still willing to host, I doubt we can be ready.”

EFF is expected to use Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa, and Hawassa Stadiums as some of the options of the tournaments and Addis Ababa main stadium.

CAF requirements to host the tournament need the hosts to put in place four stadiums for each group with each venue having at least four changing rooms, two training pitches in each venue, internet connectivity and transport infrastructure across all venues.

Other requirements include advanced media tribunes, anti-doping rooms in each venue, and floodlights for HD video production and standby generators in all venues.

Instruments to host the 6th edition of the African Nations Championships, a biennial football tournament that exclusively features players from respective national championships, were handed to Ethiopia on 7th February 2018 in Casablanca.

Ethiopia is the fourth country in the CECAFA region to be granted rights to host the second most prestigious tournament. Sudan hosted the second edition before Rwanda who organized a spectacular event in 2016, while Kenya were snatched 2018 hosting rights.

If CAF announces a new host nation which is likely to be Cameroon, Ethiopia, who had already qualified as hosts, will miss the 2020 edition and may face sanctions.

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