CAF gives thumbs up to Chan organisation

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cape Town – South Africa and the local organising committee were today given the thumbs up by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on the hosting of the third Africa Nations Championship (Chan).  

Briefing media at the Cape Town International Conference Centre (CTICC), Hicham El Amrani, the secretary general of CAF – which runs Chan – said there had been a “very high satisfaction” of the level of organisation of the tournament, adding that there were no specific complaints from teams about accommodation and facilities.

El Amrani pointed out that this year’s Chan had so far matched the level of organisation shown at last year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament which also took place in South Africa.

Despite average match attendance coming in at just 9 500 fans per match, he stressed that organisers were still “okay” with these numbers.

El Amrani also defended the existence of Chan – as the only continent to host a tournament exclusively for those that don’t play in overseas teams – pointing out that one needed to take into account the specific reality of the African environment.

“It is hard indeed to retain talent in the continent. We have so much talent that we need to nurture talent both abroad and inside the continent.

“So we created a specific identity and tournament for homegrown champions that stay in the continent and those are champions that I value as much as those playing abroad and you can witness the level of playing that you had seen in the first 24 games,” he said.
El Amrani said the decision by Fifa to rank the Chan as an A-level tournament, meant that all the 24 matches played so far in the tournament (in which 59 goals were scored) would count towards Fifa rankings.

Every team, even those exiting at the bottom of each group, would get a cut of the $3.2 million takings available to teams – with the winners of the tournament entitled to $750 000 of this, he said.

He said CAF planned to put in new rules for the next Chan to ensure that a host country won’t be able to host local league games for the duration of the tournament.

Also being considered by CAF is obliging African clubs to release those players chosen to compete in the tournament – or risk being suspended for the duration of the tournament.

Mvuzo Mbebe, the chief executive of the local organising committee, added that his committee was also happy with the organisation of the event so far: “I always said we’re comfortable and I think we’ve done what’s expected of us”.

Fans, he said, could still buy discounted tickets for the upcoming quarter-finals, and added that the local organising committee is currently analysing ticket sales to determine what kinds of fans were buying tickets in a bid to take measures to assist those groups that needed help to buy tickets.

In the first quarter finals, which take place tomorrow at Cape Town Stadium, Morocco takes on Nigeria, with Zimbabwe to take on Mali following on the same evening.

The Chan final is set to take place on February 1 at Cape Town Stadium. –