Monday, 17 February 2020

Algeria FA president supports four-year Afcon plan

Algerian Football Federation president Kheireddine Zetchi has supported Fifa boss Gianni Infantino’s proposal for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament to he held every four years instead of two.

Infantino recently suggested that for Afcon to be commercially viable, it should be turned into a quadrennial competition.

Also putting forward Infantino’s argument, Zetchi said the current Afcon hosting structure is an economic strain which leaves hosts with a financial burden.

“We are in favour of an Afcon of every four years provided that the specifications are more demanding than what it is today,” Zetchi was quoted as saying by Algeria 360.

“The Afcon of every two years, for me, is a kind of failure for this competition. The real reason is that this Afcon is a financial pit for the organising countries.

"We very often see a competition without any fans, apart from the matches which concern the host country, or the matches from the quarter-finals. Economically, it's very limited.”

Previously, Afcon tournaments used to be staged on Fifa World Cup or Uefa European Championship years, thereby competing for attention with those big tournaments.

Last year’s Afcon was held at the same time as the Copa America and Zetchi feels that Africa’s tournament should have its own exclusive year without fighting for attention with other football competitions.

“If this competition changes to a frequency every four years, I suggest that it not be played in a year in which another major competition like the World Cup or the Euro is held,” Zetchi added.

“Like this, the Afcon will become the big major event of the year in question, which will bring a lot more to the Confederation of African Football and will give more time to the organising country to properly prepare for its competition.”

In recent years, Afcon hosting rights have been withdrawn from some countries, denting the image of the competition.

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