According to Kenyan digital news platform the Africa Review, fifteen nations are soon to arrive for the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, which will be played between January 19 and February 10 next year. Is South Africa ready? The country will host the tournament almost 3 years after they became the first African country to provide the stage for the World Cup.
SA received high praise for the success of the 2010 tournament and for its construction of several new world-class stadiums, and was awarded the 2017 Nations Cup.
14 months ago, however, the plan to host Afcon 2013 in Libya fell apart after civil war broke out in the country, leading to the death of Muammar Gaddafi - and South Africa stepped in. Mvuzo Mbebe, chief executive officer of the local organising committee feels comfortable with "plans that have been put into place, in terms of details and operational execution." He concedes, however, that "there's been a lot of fair criticism that people have not seen enough branding around various cities" and promised that visibility will increase shortly.
The government has allocated R450m to the tournament, of which R77.2m has been assigned to the organising committee. The rest will go to the beautification of host cities and to national departments for logistical costs. The 2013 organising committee made ticket sales its number one priority, and in phase one of their campaign, they sold 20,000 - double their original target, the Africa Review says.
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