Southern Times Writer
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has refuted reports that it had stripped Ghana of the right to host this year's Total Women's African Cup of Nations championship.
There were media reports last weekend that CAF president Ahmad has confirmed that Ghana would no longer host the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations and that a new host would be announced soon.
Ghana won the bid to organise the event two years, naming the capital Accra and Cape Coast as host cities, but a report from CAF inspectors revealed inadequate preparations, with less than three months to the tournament.
Ghanaian authorities made proposals for the competition to be moved to Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi and Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale, which are in ‘excellent’ conditions. Both alternatives were rejected by Caf.
"Ghana is no more the host (for the tournament). We are engaging several countries and should be able to announce a new host during the Caf Extraordinary General Assembly in Egypt next month," Ahmad told KweséESPN.
Kenya was initially approached to step in if Ghana failed to speed up preparations, but the country’s FA president Nick Mwendwa says they are no longer able to host the competition.
"Kenya have withdrawn interest in hosting the 2018 AWCON," Mwendwa told KweséESPN.
"We had expressed our interest in hosting the competition after learning that Ghana will not be able to host.
"Unfortunately, we seem to have only the Kasarani Stadium ready to host the competition, and yet two stadiums are required.
"We informed CAF on Saturday of the development and they also replied," he added.
However, in a statement on its official website, CAF said: "Following recent media reports, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) authoritatively confirms that there has been no decision regarding the hosting rights of the Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Ghana 2018 scheduled for 17 November to 1 December.
"The subject will be discussed at the next meeting of the Organising Committee for Women's Football to be held in Cairo, Egypt, on Wednesday, 12 September 2018. The report of the last inspection visit is among items on the agenda.
"The final decision will be taken by the CAF Executive Committee at its meeting on 27-28 September 2018 in Egypt."
Algeria, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Mali, Equatorial Guinea and Zambia are the countries who have qualified for the tournament.
The competition is scheduled to take place from November 17 to December 1.