Ahmad Ahmad challenges Cameroon to prove they can be Afcon hosts

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad AFP/Getty Images

Confederation of African Football President Ahmad Ahmad has urged Cameroon to prove they they're up to hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, and has hinted that the Central African nation could have the tournament taken away from them if they fail to impress in an upcoming inspection.

The next edition of Africa's biennial footballing showpiece will be the first to feature 24 teams following a decision taken by the confederation's executive committee at the recent CAF Symposium in Morocco.

Having been named as hosts while the tournament was still intended to be a 16-team event, Cameroon clearly still has to convince a team of experts appointed by CAF that they have the resources and the infrastructure to hold an extended event.

"We have decided that it is no longer the CAF Executive Committee who will inspect the countries selected for the organization of the Afcon," Ahmad told the local press during a visit to Burkina Faso, as reported by CAF Online.

"It is now experts who will do it and the CAF will decide based on their report.

"Regarding Cameroon, we will send the experts and we will decide at the end of their inspection mission," added the Malagasy football chief. "Cameroon will have to work to convince the CAF on its ability to host the event."

The decision to expand the Nations Cup was one of the key talking points to emerge from the CAF Symposium held last month, with the executive committee also deciding to move the tournament to June and July.

Should Cameroon retain the 2019 event, it will be the first time they've hosted the Afcon since the 1972 edition, which was won by the Republic of Congo after they defeated Mali 3-2 in the final.