The Ivory Coast Football Federation (Fif) has said that they were not consulted by Caf prior to the shifting of their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) hosting rights to 2023.
After the 2019 Afcon hosting rights were taken away from Cameroon, Caf President Ahmad told Radio France International that the Central Africans will now stage the 2021 tournament that had originally been mandated to Ivory Coast.
But the Fif appeared angered by Caf’s decision which they said was also not formally communicated to them as they only learnt about the development through the media.
“Since Monday, December 03, 2018, during various broadcasts, it is reported that the Ivorian state authorities and the leaders of the Ivorian Football Federation have been approached by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and that they have been consulted on the recent decision taken by the Executive Committee of the said Confederation regarding the organisation of Afcon2021 which has been mandated to Ivory Coast, by the unanimous members of the Caf Executive Committee meeting in Addis Ababa in September 2014, following a successful bid,” the Fif said in a statement.
The Fif insisted that they are still the rightful hosts of Afcon 2021.
“The Ivorian Football Federation wishes to formally deny this allegation. No Ivorian state authority, nor any leader of the Federation, at any level whatsoever, has been contacted or approached by the Confederation of African Football before taking this decision. In addition, President Augustin Sidy Diallo was in Accra to attend the final of the Women’s Afcon and at no time was he informed by any leader of the Confederation of African Football regarding this matter. The Ivorian Football Federation deplores this way of handling the subject. This is why we hastened to send a letter to Caf on this subject, in order to preserve the achievements of Afcon 2021."
With Caf stating that the 2023 Afcon would now be organised by Ivory Coast, the future of Guinea’s rights to stage that edition is now in limbo.