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President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, says preparations for the 2019 edition of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament is on course.
Pinnick, the first Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said he receives daily reports from the various sub-committees in Egypt preparing for the big event.
“Preparations have been going on very well. I have daily reports from the various sub-committees and the administration.
“I believe that Egypt will put up a spectacular performance in terms of organisation and running of the events because they have invested so much,” Pinnick said.
The NFF boss said that the 24-team format for the 2019 edition will give more teams the opportunity to participate in the tournament.
Three countries, Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt took part in the first CAF tournament held in Sudan in 1957. Egypt won the maiden edition. The format for the tournament changed to eight teams and later 16 teams.
“The new format has given so many countries the privilege of being in AFCON. For instance, Madagascar, Burundi and Mauritania couldn’t have been in the tournament if there was no 24-team format.
“The new format also has economic advantage because the more games you play, the more television rights and the merrier. It has other advantages for football in the continent,” he said.
Egypt will host the tournament in six centres under the new 24-team format from June 21 to July 19.