Congo Brazzaville submit surprise bid to host 2019 Afcon tournament

Congo Brazzaville have emerged as surprise candidates to host the expanded 24-team 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament

Caf have confirmed that they have received Congo Brazzaville’s bid to host the 2019 Afcon finals.

While either Morocco or South Africa are being strongly tipped to host the tournament, Congo Brazzaville surprisingly filed their bid to replace Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights.

Caf second vice president Constant Omari said Congo had submitted their interest together with another unnamed country.

“Congo Brazzaville has already written to organise (2019),” Omari told Radio France International.

"Our (Caf) deputy secretary-general Anthony Baffoe told me that he was going to tell me of a second candidate."

With Caf statutes dictating that a country that has its hosting rights taken away should be banned from the finals, Omari, however, said Cameroon will still be allowed to continue participating in the qualifiers.

This comes after Comoros wrote to Caf this week seeking Cameroon’s expulsion from the tournament while citing Article 92 of Caf regulations.

“We did not apply the sanctioning component because we took into account certain factors: there is a country that mobilizes enormous resources, but unfortunately, there are uncertainties linked to the progress of construction sites,” Omari said.

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“We are not going to punish them twice…Cameroon is not disqualified.”

Reigning African champions Cameroon face Comoros at home in their final Afcon qualifier next March and a defeat could see them miss out of the tournament.

Caf are expected to announce the 2019 Afcon hosts by the end of this year.