[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
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list