South Africa to Host 2013 African Cup of Nations after Libya Pull-Out

September 29, 2011

South Africa will host the the 2013 African Cup of Nations after Libya relinquished their hold of staging the event, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) earlier had claimed  they had received the right to host the tournament but were quickly rebuked by CAF general secretary Hicham El Amrani

The switch occured due to the security situation in the country, where the fighting between pro and anti-Muammar Gaddafi forces have continued to influence Libyan officials.

Two other nations, Algeria and Nigeria, were in the running for hosting the event but CAF chose South Africa who will also stage the 2014 African Nations Championship, an event for locally-based footballers.

This wasn’t all bad news for Libya as they will take over the 2017 tournament from South Africa. A CAF statement read: “The Executive Committee…decided on the swapping between Libya and South Africa for 2013 and 2017 respectively, considering the current political situation prevailing in Libya. This means that South Africa will host 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and Libya, 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.”

South Africa last staged the Cup of Nations in 1996 and the 2013 event and will use the stadia developed for last year’s FIFA World Cup.

SAFA president Kirsten Nematandani told told BBC Sport: “The Nations Cup presents them (the stadia) with a great opportunity. They will be better utilised for the better use of the game itself and (show) that taxpayers’ money has been well-invested.” Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will co-host the 2012 Cup of Nations in January and February, with the 2013 edition brought forward a year as CAF restructures its calendar to avoid its tournament clashing with the World Cup.