With the hosting rights of the 32nd edition of the African Cup of Nations only secured six months ago, Egypt face a huge challenge to successfully organize Africa’s first 24 nations Africa cup of nations.
Cameroon were stripped off the hosting rights of the tournament after securing the rights to host it as far back as 2014.
The Cameroonian authorities wasted three years trying to scheme who benefits the most from the juicy construction contracts and forgot the essential. Work only effectively started for the construction of the different hosting sites in 2017, two years to the tournament.
To make matters worst an overzealous newly elected CAF President Ahmad Ahmad changed the number of teams to participate in the competition from 16 to 24 without taking into consideration the organizational problems that this change could pose on the host who had secured the rights for a 16 teams tournament and not 24.
Out of excitement the Cameroonian authorities could not properly analyze the implications and consequences of such a change despite their huge delay in the preparations.
Security worries also played their part with the separatists in the English speaking South West and North West Regions as well as the Islamic sect of Boko Haram in the Northern part of the country.
It was therefore not surprising to see Cameroon pushed aside for Egypt to take the challenge for a fire-fighting organization of the competition just six months to the event.
The land of the Pharaohs with good infrastructure already just has to make some little renovations to get the infrastructure ready.
However they face serious a security challenge from Islamic extremists who had 17 tourists wounded after a bomb that was targeting a tourists bus exploded near the Grand Museum, next to the Giza Pyramids last month.
The organizers have taken some security measures aimed to address these security worries. One of such measures is that to have a ticket to watch the games all fans must provide an identification through the internet which will be used to issue them the precious tickets. The fans find this tiring especially as the identification system and process doesn’t always work as expected leading to long waits and queues.
Another problem is the cost of the tickets that some of the fans judge too expensive given the economic difficulties that the population of the country is facing. On April 29, 2019 the local
Organizing committee announced ticket prices at approximately $145 for games that involve Egypt and approximately &6 for games involving other team. These prices were judged to be too high especially the lowest category of the four tiers for games involving Egypt.
According to Local Organizing Committee President Mohamed Fadl, despite the short notice to organize the tournament, they have done all to make it a memorable event and the best the continent has ever known.
“The time was short, there was a lot to be done but we promise that it will be the best the continent has ever seen” Fadl said.
Despite these challenges, Egypt are well armed to organize a successful tournament, besides they are not new comers in the business as they will be hosting the event for a fifth time when they set the ball rolling against Zimbabwe at the Cairo International Stadium on Friday June 21, 2019.