News24

Joburg may snub AFCON

2012-04-12 22:19

Johannesburg - Johannesburg has become the latest major South African city to balk at being a host for next year's African Cup of Nations (AFCON), which would leave the tournament without the landmark Soccer City Stadium as a venue.

It's the latest and biggest blow to South Africa's troubled bidding process to choose venues for the 2013 African Cup, with newly built stadiums in Cape Town and Durban also looking unlikely to participate because of high costs.

The absence of South Africa's three iconic World Cup stadiums, which hosted the final and semi-finals at the world's biggest football tournament in 2010, would cast doubts over that competition's legacy in the country and the future use of those venues.

"The city has indicated that it is not in a position to host games and has therefore not signed a host agreement," City of Johannesburg spokesperson Gabu Tugwana said in an e-mail to The Associated Press (AP).

The 90 000-plus capacity Soccer City - now known as FNB Stadium - staged the 2010 World Cup final and was expected to also host the 2013 Cup of Nations final. It is the biggest soccer stadium in Africa.

Tugwana did not give reasons for Johannesburg's decision, but potential host cities have reportedly balked at paying high fees to organisers.

An official in Cape Town this week said its bid to be a host city was running over budget because of "critical issues" that were unresolved in the bidding process organised by the South African Football Association (SAFA).

"The City of Cape Town is committed to being a Host City for AFCON 2013 and is excited by this honour and opportunity," Cape Town mayoral committee member Grant Pascoe said in a statement. "However, the City of Cape Town has repeatedly highlighted its concerns with SAFA about certain contractual obligations and the impact that the possible undefined costs could have on both Cape Town and on other municipalities."

Pascoe told the AP that Cape Town officials were waiting for SAFA to provide feedback.

SAFA and its local organising committee have reportedly asked for R20m from each host city to be considered, although LOC chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe said there had been "distortions" in the media over that figure and the financial commitments required by potential host cities.

Mbebe declined to discuss the process in detail in a meeting with reporters last week when South Africa signed the organising agreement with the Confederation of African Football.

SAFA has delayed the initial announcement of the host venues until April 20. South Africa's smaller World Cup stadiums in northern cities like Rustenburg, Nelspruit and Polokwane are now tipped to be included, with Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town missing.

Cape Town Stadium hasn't hosted a major football game since late 2010.

African Cup of Nations organisers have also said attracting crowds and filling stadiums was their top priority next year, meaning some of South Africa's shining new World Cup stadiums may be too big and too difficult to sell out for the lower-profile African Cup.

The recent African Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea had problems with poor crowds and large swatches of empty seats were obvious on television broadcasts - even for some knockout games.

Hicham El Amrani, the secretary general of the Confederation of African Football, conceded that bigger was not necessarily better for the Cup of Nations. Instead, El Amrani said that having full stadiums was "one of the key focuses, if not the priority focus for us."

"We cannot only consider iconic stadiums just for the fact that they are beautiful. They are World Cup stadiums, but they have a capacity of 80 000, or 60 000," he said. "It's a range of factors and parameters that we select, so we don't necessarily go for the most beautiful and biggest four or five venues and then that's it.

"No, if we want to fill the stadiums and attract the fans as well we have to consider the kind of capacity."

AP

Comments
  • dan8472 - 2012-04-12 22:33

    Another farcical moment in South African soccer, we've shown we have the talent to produce world class stars in all sports, soccer included, but still Bafana lag in the world as also rans. Is it the players fault? Absolutely not, it's the freaking inept, clueless administration that runs soccer in this country....

      phathuchicos - 2012-04-12 22:38

      stop derailing the article please...

      phathuchicos - 2012-04-12 22:38

      stop derailing the article please...

      goyougoodthing - 2012-04-12 23:00

      He didn't derail it, our useless guys at SAFA and ANC did that long ago.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-04-12 23:00

      He didn't derail it, our useless guys at SAFA and ANC did that long ago.

      Taetjo - 2012-04-12 23:58

      The blame blame blame mentality in South Africa. Everything wrong has to be pointed out to the ANC. I hate the ANC myself but this is getting a bit too much. Can't we look at things from a more objective point of view at least?

      Taetjo - 2012-04-12 23:58

      The blame blame blame mentality in South Africa. Everything wrong has to be pointed out to the ANC. I hate the ANC myself but this is getting a bit too much. Can't we look at things from a more objective point of view at least?

      Koos - 2012-04-13 01:45

      Taetjo: the buck stops with the one in charge, which is: ancESTORS and their comrades at safa. Difficult to grasp that?

      Koos - 2012-04-13 01:45

      Taetjo: the buck stops with the one in charge, which is: ancESTORS and their comrades at safa. Difficult to grasp that?

      Taetjo - 2012-04-13 02:05

      Koos, is that the reason why Eugene de Kock is in jail today and the people that gave him the orders are not in jail? Anyways... I'm saying that we can't always be pointing fingers.

      Taetjo - 2012-04-13 02:05

      Koos, is that the reason why Eugene de Kock is in jail today and the people that gave him the orders are not in jail? Anyways... I'm saying that we can't always be pointing fingers.

      wesleywt - 2012-04-13 05:50

      What does bafana got to do with an incompetent AFCON? I don't get it.

      wesleywt - 2012-04-13 05:50

      What does bafana got to do with an incompetent AFCON? I don't get it.

  • johncarlos.biza - 2012-04-13 00:42

    Can't imagine 90 000 South Africans being keen to fork out hundreds to see Burundi play Gambia or some random minnow.

      Squeegee - 2012-04-13 06:52

      Then no one will go watch Bafana as they are now the minnows...

      Squeegee - 2012-04-13 06:52

      Then no one will go watch Bafana as they are now the minnows...

  • lytteot7 - 2012-04-13 01:14

    CAF is suppose to pump money in the cities after all is their product and they have sponsors who will be placed all over the cities so the least they could do is cough up.

  • James - 2012-04-13 01:39

    Hahaha! Where are those f o k e n n prawns that commented on the Cape Town article about not signing now? Where you? Cowards.

      John - 2012-04-14 03:28

      Yes it was not only CPT that was refusing.....see cpt article on the exact same matter

  • Theunis - 2012-04-13 03:32

    this is because the history of bad payments by the organisers, as well as the history of bad payments by so called interested countries have changed this event into a circus.....

  • Blip - 2012-04-13 04:09

    Why should the cities pay the SAFA/Afcon organisers for letting them play in the city's stadiums? Do landlords pay tenants to have them occupy the premises?

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-13 05:01

    Surely, there cannot be anyone left, who still believes in the "succes" of the 2010 SWC !! Useless multi billion rand White Elephant STADIUMS scattered around the country Multi billion rand White Elephant King Chaka International AIRPORT Multi billion rand TOLL ROADS nobody wants to pay for Than we said "thank you" FIFA Let them take multi billion US$ PROFIT home with them. And than we gave the organisers each a MEDAL ARE WE INSANE !!!

      wesleywt - 2012-04-13 05:46

      It was a success. Because it forced the goverment to improve infrastructure. Without the world cup they wouldn't have. Besides how has the WC affected you other than making you a sour bore.

      wesleywt - 2012-04-13 05:46

      It was a success. Because it forced the goverment to improve infrastructure. Without the world cup they wouldn't have. Besides how has the WC affected you other than making you a sour bore.

      Squeegee - 2012-04-13 06:56

      wesleywt, it forced the government to force the citizens to pay up. Have you been sleeping during the toll-gate debacle? We - the taxpayers are indebted for life to pay off the bribes and excesses and tenderbuddy schemes.

      Squeegee - 2012-04-13 06:56

      wesleywt, it forced the government to force the citizens to pay up. Have you been sleeping during the toll-gate debacle? We - the taxpayers are indebted for life to pay off the bribes and excesses and tenderbuddy schemes.

      lydonmcg - 2012-04-13 08:04

      You may find this hard to believe, but not everyone is intent on living a pathetic little negative existence in which they constantly complain about how unfair life is and blatantly ignore all the positives. If you are so naive as to think that we wouldn't have to PAY to host the World Cup, or if you are so blind as to not see the massive improvements that were made to many of our cities thanks to the World Cup, then you only have yourself to blame. The upgrade of Cape Town Station, Koeberg Interchange and the complete transformation of Green Point come to mind...(I could go on and on). The World Cup was a massive success because it proved that we could stage the world's largest sporting tournament without any major hitches. It provided unprecedented international exposure, which is why our tourism figures are up despite the ongoing EuroZone crisis. A major international company I worked for - the world's largest online retailer, Amazon.com - opened up office in Cape Town shortly after the World Cup and we were all told by senior management that the reason that they opted for South Africa was because of "your success in hosting the World Cup." Furthermore, I suggest you do a little research on the likes of King Shaka International Airport and recent airline developments there before you start harping on about it being a white elephant, and digest the fact that if these new stadiums were "useless," hundreds of thousands of people wouldn't have used them since the World Cup.

      lydonmcg - 2012-04-13 08:04

      You may find this hard to believe, but not everyone is intent on living a pathetic little negative existence in which they constantly complain about how unfair life is and blatantly ignore all the positives. If you are so naive as to think that we wouldn't have to PAY to host the World Cup, or if you are so blind as to not see the massive improvements that were made to many of our cities thanks to the World Cup, then you only have yourself to blame. The upgrade of Cape Town Station, Koeberg Interchange and the complete transformation of Green Point come to mind...(I could go on and on). The World Cup was a massive success because it proved that we could stage the world's largest sporting tournament without any major hitches. It provided unprecedented international exposure, which is why our tourism figures are up despite the ongoing EuroZone crisis. A major international company I worked for - the world's largest online retailer, Amazon.com - opened up office in Cape Town shortly after the World Cup and we were all told by senior management that the reason that they opted for South Africa was because of "your success in hosting the World Cup." Furthermore, I suggest you do a little research on the likes of King Shaka International Airport and recent airline developments there before you start harping on about it being a white elephant, and digest the fact that if these new stadiums were "useless," hundreds of thousands of people wouldn't have used them since the World Cup.

      Blessing - 2012-04-13 10:25

      AnthonyfromAfrica: Please take away the Airport from your list of white elephants.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-13 10:43

      Lydonmcg, Sorry but you talk absolute nonsense !! You are very good with insults but hardly on facts. The SWC, costs us 100 BILLION Rand. In a country where we got 8 million people living in shacks , that is a disgrace. Are you trying to convince me, that Amazon.com came to CT, because we can get soccer fans in time to a stadium......Come on, get real ! King Chaka Airport, only international flights are from Emirates, NO ONE else is interested, NOT EVEN SAA !!! It is a white elephant, that would NEVER EVER have been built if we were not fooled by FIFA and the SWC organizers. ACSA, always had been a very well run company, made its first loss last year, due to this crazy development. It now had to increase it airport fees so drastically, that they belong to the highest in the world !!! So in stead that this event was a boost to our tourism, it (almost) destroyed it ) It has been a definite factor in the failure of a local budget airline, and others who are in financial difficulties. The utterances from the Minister of Tourism, Van schalkwyk, are silly, almost childish. This tourist industry is in great difficulty. May I refer you to a lead article from the Financial Mail of the 2nd of March this year, and maybe you will understand the real facts. But, you can also talk to stake holders in this industry, like hotels, guest houses, local airlines, tour leaders, tourist shops etc etc, and they will tell you, how much BS our Minister wants us to believe!!

      Mark - 2012-04-13 18:40

      You very right Anthony. as for you lydonmcg you can see you a product of a mislead , goverment controlled media fanatic. The staduims are all under performomng read the national figures for these white elephants and you shall see that the time line is very rapidly approaching zero and overgrown with weeds. As for your hundreds and thousands of users of staduims , you seem to forget that 60% of the usage at these staduims is for the governing terrorist organisation. They dont pay buddy . If and when u work you will pay for there gravy train events.

  • Peter - 2012-04-13 07:16

    Maybe because SAFA is too greedy and want to pocket all the excess for themselves, and there is no recipocation of "gratuity" by SAFA to the respective "Stadium Owners"

  • Christo Smith - 2012-04-13 07:39

    Who cares about Afcon anyway. SA will probaly not make it to the second round! Rather organise a game between Man U vs Man C at one of these world class staduims.

      Topsy - 2012-04-13 08:04

      or barca madrid - 2 best teams on earth. afcon is a mickey mouse cup. after hosting wc 2010, nobody cares about these school boy cups. bafana wont even make the 2nd round, max crowd for a game will be 5000 . . .

      Topsy - 2012-04-13 08:04

      or barca madrid - 2 best teams on earth. afcon is a mickey mouse cup. after hosting wc 2010, nobody cares about these school boy cups. bafana wont even make the 2nd round, max crowd for a game will be 5000 . . .

      Amos Morwape - 2012-04-13 08:30

      Cristo if want to watch Man c v Man u,u must travel to England and watch them ther.Those world class stadiums are situated in Africa and build for African soccer players to play in.Crap or doom we are proud of ourselvs.Bafana Bafana not making it to the second round,is not the problem that can be cured by Man city and Man united.This is Africa Not Europe.Man city v Man united se gaat

      Amos Morwape - 2012-04-13 08:30

      Cristo if want to watch Man c v Man u,u must travel to England and watch them ther.Those world class stadiums are situated in Africa and build for African soccer players to play in.Crap or doom we are proud of ourselvs.Bafana Bafana not making it to the second round,is not the problem that can be cured by Man city and Man united.This is Africa Not Europe.Man city v Man united se gaat

  • Andrew - 2012-04-13 08:05

    Typical of the crooks that run football. Overcharging to fill their grimey pockets.

  • DrGonzoSA - 2012-04-13 08:10

    More good old fashioned GREED ruining another potentially great event

  • Ricky - 2012-04-13 08:13

    Afcon cup is garbage football played by grown men with the skill and mentality of 6 year olds. Those who would waste thier time watching cr@p teams playing each other can't afford the tickets anyway.

  • pabalelo.mphahlele - 2012-04-13 08:36

    it was exciting when RSA hosted 1996 AFCON

  • pabalelo.mphahlele - 2012-04-13 08:38

    it was exciting when RSA hosted 1996 AFCON

  • Sipho - 2012-04-13 08:40

    No need for AFCON. There were less than 3000 fans from African countries during 2010 World Cup. Good business came from North Americans and Europeans. To hell with AFCON.

  • revaro.winkler - 2012-04-13 08:46

    damn we lucky to yet just after 2 years be orginising the afcon cant wait joburg and cape town is a part of something bigger south africa we have great veneus all over and i think gauteng has had enough special events so far for now so give the rest of the countrys beutiful citys exposure

  • cornelius.ncube2 - 2012-04-13 10:54

    i think people are now obssesed with ANC,everything wrong in this country becomes the ANC problem. When will you antiANC realise that this country belongs to all of us not ANC.Really we are now overdoing it.ANC,ANC,ANC.its too much.Im little bit worried about this AFCON,is it because its an African tournament thats why no city wants to host.i blame SAFA because they are pioneering this tournament,bad preparation.NOT ANC please.

  • faerrab - 2012-04-13 12:00

    MVUso Mbebe was fired from the SABC now he is a CE at LOC!!!!! - SAFA another failed organisation managed by the Mediocre

  • Jay - 2012-04-13 15:03

    use the affirmative action policy and throw some whites in the team!!!!!!! white people in this country originate from england,holland, germany, france, portugal,italy!!!!! guess what those are the best football nations in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! forget about these jokers!!

  • Mark - 2012-04-13 18:34

    This is the only way that the south african team can take part , being host nation you qualify. They could not qualify for anything without wasting tax payers money. As for Taetjo and The azanian fools , the ANC has us in this mess , if you dont like them dont vote for them. Time is running out and the begging bowl is drying up ,

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