CAF denies 2017 Cup of Nations relocation

Confederation of African Football (CAF) general-secretary Hicham El Amrani has denied reports that Libya could again be stripped of hosting rights to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Libya was originally scheduled to host this year’s edition of the Cup of Nations before CAF took the decision to switch the event to South Africa in September 2011 amid its ongoing civil unrest and security concerns. With South Africa due to host the 2017 tournament, an agreement was reached to swap the hosting rights.

Fresh reports have linked Algeria as a potential replacement for the 2017 event, but El Amrani told BBC Sport: “We have not received any communication from Algeria about replacing Libya, and CAF’s position has not changed since Libya was confirmed as hosts for the 2017 tournament.

“It does not mean that CAF is not sensitive to what is happening in Libya nor that CAF is not following the latest developments in Libya. The executive committee will continually assess to make sure the tournament is organised in the best possible way with conditions that allow such an international tournament to take place. As things stand today, the tournament will be held in Libya in 2017.”

In April, Libyan deputy prime minister Awad Ibrahim Elbarasi said the country planned to invest $314 million this year on developing stadiums for its staging of the 2017 Cup of Nations, including a new 60,000-seat stadium in the Tripoli suburb of Tajoura. A 23,000-capacity stadium will be developed in Misrata, while games will also be played in Benghazi.