Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), has revealed the reason why the 2019 edition of African Cup of Nations is in a 24-team format.
The NFF boss who is also first Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), said on Wednesday in Lagos that the 24 team format for the 2019 AFCON in Egypt 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.
Pinnick also stated that he received 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,” he said.
According to Pinnick, Egypt is traditionally a football loving country and is eagerly anticipating the championship.
Pinnick said that he was optimistic that the 2019 AFCON in Egypt would be a great success.
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