[QODLink]
Football
South Africa takes over Libya's role as host
Following the political and civil unrest in Libya, South Africa has agreed to host the African Cup of Nations in 2013.
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2011 19:30
South Africa pose before their 2012 Cup of Nations qualifier with Egypt in Johannesburg [GALLO/GETTY] 

The South African Football Association said on Thursday it had signed an agreement with Libya's football federation to host the 2013 African Cup of Nations in place of the troubled north African nation.

In its statement, SAFA said the agreement will see Libya stage the 2017 Cup of Nations, which was initially awarded to South Africa, with the 2010 World Cup host country taking over the African Cup in two years' time.

Libya's staging of Africa's top football championship had been in doubt since the uprising against dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

The Confederation of African Football denied the 2013 tournament had already been taken away from Libya, but conceded the country's hosting would be discussed by the ruling body's executive committee next month.

SAFA had said its deal to swap tournaments with Libya must still be confirmed by CAF at that executive committee meeting in Cairo on September 28.

"All the issues regarding 2013 will be discussed at the end of September," CAF spokesman Suleiman Habuba said later on Thursday.

"The issues regarding 2013 will definitely be discussed by the executive committee and decisions on tournament hosting can only be made by the executive committee."

The South Africa-Libya agreement also covers the 2014 African Nations Cup, a tournament for emerging players, which was also to be hosted by Libya, SAFA said.

Prepared for event

SAFA added the deal had come "following the political upheaval in Libya," but did not give details on when it had been signed.

South Africa already stepped in this year to cover for Libya by organising the African Youth Championship at short notice in Johannesburg in April.

Libya's civil war has escalated this week with anti-Gadhafi rebels taking over much of the Libyan capital Tripoli and overrunning Gadhafi's personal compound, forcing the longtime ruler to retreat into hiding.

Egypt was reportedly also interested in hosting the 2013 Cup of Nations should it be taken away from Libya, while Nigeria was the reserve host after it lost out in the initial race to host the event.

However South Africa, with its existing infrastructure from last year's World Cup, is regarded as the best choice for CAF as a stand-in host.

Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will co-host the next African Cup of Nations in January and February next year, while another north African country, Morocco, will hold the 2015 tournament.

Africa has back-to-back Cup of Nations tournaments in 2012 and 2013.

Source:
AP
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list