2017 bid process criticized

A MEMBER of Ghana’s bid committee Randy Abbey is alleging that CAF’s process of naming Gabon as hosts for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations is “fishy and flawed”.

Abbey, a former Ghana FA spokesperson, is impugning that Wednesday’s voting in the Egyptian capital Cairo by CAF’s Executive Committee members was a stolen verdict.

He claims that the voting was not fair and added that CAF’s inability to announce the results of the polls by the 14-member Executive Committee nourishes the suspicion of a pre-determined process.

“We will like to congratulate Gabon for being declared the winner. But there was something and in the coming hours or days you will hear, I’m sure, from especially the Algerians,” Abbey told Multi TV Sports Today programme.

“Even the Executive Committee members who cast their vote did not know the result of the vote. Only two of them, with Issa Hayatou were called to look at the vote.

“After that they were all ushered into the conference room where the media and the other three countries were.

“What the votes were we don’t know. There were 14 members of Executive Committee who voted.

“What the rules say is that there must be an outright winner, with a minimum of eight votes.”

“In this case we didn’t know how Gabon won – whether they got five, [or] eight, [or] 10, [or] 13 [or] 14, nobody knows. Even the Executive Committee members weren’t told the results of their votes!”

“Everybody was brought to the conference room and the CAF president just took a paper that said Gabon had won.”

He added that: “And I found that quite embarrassing, [that this happened] in 2015. Maybe that is the value and culture here. Like they say in strategic management, that is how business is run here.”

However, the Chairman of the Black Stars Management Committee, George Afriyie says he was convinced that Gabon had a better chance of winning the rights to host the 2017 African Cup of Nations, ahead of Ghana and Algeria.

According to George Afriyie, his conviction was based on the fact that the 2017 tournament would not have been up for new hosts had Libya not pulled out due to political turmoil.

“I knew Gabon was going to win and everybody I spoke to ahead of the draw made the same remarks. I say this because, the 2017 rights had already be given, just like 2019 and 2021 but Libya pulled out of the 2017 event. So Ghana was chasing an event which had already been awarded and if such things happen, then the countries that hosted the event not long ago have better chance because their facilities would be in a better state.”

Yesterday, Wednesday, April 8, CAF announced that Gabon had won the rights to host the tournament beating off competition from Ghana and Algeria.

Gabon co-hosted the AFCON in 2012 with Equatorial Guinea .

CAF was forced to find a new host country for the 2017 tournament following Libya’s withdrawal as host due to the civil war that has brought footballing activities to a halt in that country.

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