The speech of the President of COCAN in relation to preparations for the 4th CAF inspection visit in Cameroon
I find it a pleasure to be here this day for this press briefing on the state of preparations for the Men African Cup of Nations which our country will host in 2019.
Before I proceed, permit me to seize this opportunity to thank the Minister of Communication, Government Spokesperson, for all the appropriate measures he has taken to ensure a smooth organization of this activity. The strong collaboration between our two ministerial departments reaffirms the efficiency of the governmental solidarity always prescribed by the Prime Minister, Head of Government.
I would also like to thank and congratulate you all, media professionals, for your massive turnout at this press briefing. Your impressive attendance this day, proves the great interest you have for matters related to sports activities in general and precisely those related to the preparation of the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON.
My opening statement will be based on the following points:
– First of all, a brief summary on the state of preparations of the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON;
– Secondly, preparations for the fourth CAF inspection mission to Cameroon;
-Thirdly, the conclusion
In about seven months’ time, our country would host the 2019 TOTAL AFCON. Based on this, preparations for this great event are seriously going on. The Local Organizing Committee, the FECAFOOT Normalization Committee, ministries and partner administrations, national and international companies that are awarded contracts for the construction or rehabilitation of the various facilities, under the very high impetus of the President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Paul BIYA and the coordination of the Prime Minister, Head of Government, are fully mobilized to offer practical answers to CAF specifications, each within their area of competence.
With regard to facilities, seven months into the competition, it should be recall that since CAF’s first inspection visit, Cameroon has made considerable efforts to meet the requirements specified by CAF.
Concerning sports facilities, 34 stadiums including seven for competitions and 26 for trainings are in completion for some and operational for others in the various host cities that are Yaounde, Garoua, Bafoussam, Douala and Buea – Limbe. The various recommendations formulated by CAF during the three last inspection missions, notably the ones concerning the respect of the plannings of works in the various construction sites are implemented by the managers of companies who took the commitment to scrupulously respect the contractual period, notably, the delivery of works as of December 31, 2018.
Regarding hotel infrastructure, all accommodation sites have been identified. In accordance with CAF’s specifications, some of them benefit from substantial improvements while those under construction integrate them directly. Apart from the infrastructure required for dignitaries, CAF officials, National teams, referees and accredited journalists, CAF recommended the establishment of a hotel map at the level of main cities that are to host the event.
The Hotel map that was sent to CAF was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and leisure which put at our disposal al necessary informations. It comprises, hotels of all categories as well as private apartments of quality standards. The addresses and contacts of the promoters are also found in this document which will be put online in the coming days.
Hospital infrastructure are also specified by the Ministry of Public Health on each Site. Cameroon possesses, in accordance with the health coverage plan transmitted to COCAN by the Minister of Public Health, reference hospitals with technical platforms compliant with CAF requirements in some host cities. The reinforcement of this technical platforms confirmed by the Minister of Public Health is undergoing in the other host cities.
Airports, roads, communications and telecommunications facilities, urban networks among others are also given a particular attention. The various competent structures that are the contract owner ensure the daily follow-up in order to respect the commitments taken by Cameroon.
With regard to the event component, COCAN has launched since three months, in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure and Lagardère Sports, CAF marketing agent, the promotion of the Cameroon destination through a poster campaign which is visible during encounters of African Champion Leagues and the CAF Cup.
Moreover, sites to host accreditation centers, CAN villages and Fans-zones have been identified and arrangements are ongoing with CAF’s competent Units for their operationalization.
COCAN also focuses its interest on the following activities:
– The preparation of the draw ceremony to be organized at the end of the playoffs on a date to be communicated by CAF;
– The preparation of the opening and closing ceremonies;
– The signing of the Framework – Agreement of the Organizing Association;
– The signature of the city-agreements;
– The designing and production of visual elements of the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON followed with the launching of competitions for the choice of the mascot and the official song of the competition; COCAN has sent this file to CAF and is waiting for its approval to effectively launch the competitions.
Regarding the sporting aspect, after the recruitment of the technical and administrative staff of the Indomitable Lions, a preparatory planning was drafted by the national trainer. This plan includes a broad prospect of the best Cameroonian players able not only to allow the Cameroonian team to occupy an honorable position during AFCON qualifications, but also capable to conserve the prestigious troph
Thus, the mobilization of all the various actors is necessary. The advice and recommendations of CAF are strictly applied so as to enable our country meet the requirements contained in the specifications of CAF. I sincerely thank CAF for its constant support to help our country meet the challenge of an honorable organization of the next AFCON. All the measures taken and standards recommended by CAF are in favour of Cameroun whose aim is to organize a memorable AFCON. For this reason, an efficient collaboration among CAF, the FECAFOOT Normalization Committee and COCAN is necessary and this is why constant adjustments are carried to meet the requirements formulated by CAF and they are to be put into application and implemented by all the stakeholders.
It is in this line that the first official visit to Cameroon by the President of CAF, Mr. AHMAD, on October 02, 2018 should be recorded with an audience granted to him at the Unity Palace by the President of the Republic, Head of State, and His Excellency Paul BIYA.
The CAF President’s visit dispelled fallacious allegations made by some people on the capacity of Cameroon to host the upcoming AFCON. The CAF President made it clear during this visit by stating, I quote: “There is no plan B at the level of CAF; CAF has never thought of withdrawing the AFCON from Cameroon “, he reassured.
On his own part, during the solemn oath taking ceremony on November 6, the President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Paul BIYA, reiterated all the interest he puts in sports in general and the organization of the upcoming AFCON when he said he will ensure and I quote him “to bring to the sporting sector, the support it deserves, so that the efforts we have so far made to host the 2019 AFCON receive the reward it deserves”, End of quote.
Moreover, meetings with former football icons and legends have been initiated to put in place adequate strategies for their dynamic implication into the organizations of activities concerning the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON.
As of now, in accordance with the specifications, all parties are working in synergy to organize a competition that respect world standards.
It is therefore important to mention that following the resolution of the meeting of CAF Executive Committee held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt on September 27 and 28, 2018, the CAF Security Commission carried out in Cameroon a security inspection mission from October 26 to November 1, 2018. This commission visited sports and hotel facilities chosen to host the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON.
During the same period, the top officials of the Republic who coordinate activities related to the organizations of the upcoming AFCON granted them audiences. It is the case with the Prime Minister, Head of Government, President of COMIPCAN who kindly accepted to grant an audience to the members of the CAF Security Commission on November 1, 2018. He gave them assurances of the Government concerning all the arrangements made to secure the organization of the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON. At the same time, senior officials in charge of defense and security issues also granted audiences to the CAF security mission and reassured CAF of the support of COCAN and Technical Commissions set up to ensure before, during and after, the security of the organization of the upcoming AFCON. This top officials were the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defense who was assisted by the Secretary of State for Defense in charge of the National Gendarmerie and all his staff; the Minister of Territorial Administration who, beyond his sovereign missions of security, is strongly involved in the organization of the AFCON through the implication the Governors, who are Site committee Presidents and are working hard to ensure the implementation of all the activities on the field.
Also, the General Delegate for National Security, President of the Interministerial Security Committee of the AFCON also granted an audience to the members of the CAF Security Mission. During this audience, the mission was clarified on practical and technical measures which can be qualify as preventive measures taken on all the sites and saluted by CAF.
The Minister of Sports and Physical Education, President of COCAN had a working session and exchanges with the mission which was able to assess all the arrangements made at the level of each technical commission for the efficient organization of aspects related to security.
The work with the security commission on all the sites was a moment of consolidation, improvement and readjustments of efforts of all stakeholders in order to meet up with the requirements of the specifications of CAF.
It should also be recall that, before the arrival of the CAF Security Commission, the Local Organizing Committee organized a seminar based on security issues in Yaounde on October 24 and 25, 2018.This seminar was organized on behalf of the Heads of technical commissions of the Central Unit and the main officials in charge of the security of sites. This seminar was conducted by Mr. Frédéric Gicqueaux, Security Expert recommended by CAF. It aimed at finding the best strategies of harmonization concerning interventions of the various stakeholders who were to play a key role during the CAF Security Inspection mission. The constructive exchanges resulting from this meeting guaranteed the smooth running of works of the members of the CAF Security Commission.
Permit me now to lay emphasis on preparations for the upcoming CAF inspection mission. On November 4, 2018, the African Football Confederation addressed a Letter to the Cameroon Football Federation informing our country of the arrival of the Fourth inspection mission team that will visit the various sports facilities that are to host the Cameroon 2019 TOTAL AFCON from the 10 to the 15th of November, 2018.
This inspection mission team will be composed of seven personalities and the Head is Mr. Anthony BAFFOE, CAF Deputy Secretary General in charge of Sports and Development. The mission will be focused principally on fields under construction like it is the case with some sites in Yaounde, Garoua, Bafoussam and Douala.
As usual, COCAN has put in place important measures in terms of facilities to ensure a better stay and good working condition at the disposal of the CAF mission delegation. Accommodation, logistics and transportation with a special aircraft has been chartered to facilitate transportation from Yaounde to other host cities. All this is done in order to scrupulously respect the planning set by CAF.
Following the numerous meetings held in preparation for the arrival of the Fourth inspection mission between the members of the Local Organizing Committee (COCAN) and the FECAFOOT Normalization Committee, and in connection with the local site committees of the host cities, the detailed program definitively approved by CAF for this visit led to the printing of a program booklet that will be given to the various personalities in due time.
The Local Organizing Committee has also published another document entitled “A Synoptic State of Achievements of activities related to the organization of the AFCON as of October 31, 2018”.
These two documents will constitute some of the reference elements for the inspection work contained in the kit which will be made available to each member of the inspection team.
Finally, I would like to reiterate to the national and international opinion that Cameroon is totally committed to fulfil the specifications of the African Football Confederation.
To this effect, I reiterate my call for the mobilization of all the intelligences and skills of our country, particularly those of the press, so that everyone, in his own way, wherever he is, contributes to the success of the event.
With particular regard to the men of the media, I would like to thank and congratulate you for the respect of the protocol established by CAF experts during their various inspection missions. COCAN is making arrangements to enable you carry visits on the various infrastructure sites, in order to make know to the populations of our country in general and the fans of football in particular, the gigantic achievements so far carried to the benefit of the our youths within the framework of the organization of the Cameroon 2019 Total AFCON.
This is the message I wanted to deliver this day following some questions that preoccupied some Cameroonians. These questions are legitimate because the AFCON belongs to all Cameroonians and the challenge of winning this competition is a national cause that calls for every Cameroonian, wherever he is. Any positive contribution, be it modest is important to ensure the success of this prestigious event.
Under the very high impulse given by the Head of State, his very high instructions for an honorable preparation of this event and the meticulous coordination conducted by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, the dynamic implication of the competent technical ministries, the FECAFOOT Normalization Committee, the various partners, national and international companies involved, it is a permanent and strong commitment of all, focused on the essential, which is the success of the organization of the Cameroon 2019 AFCON which will help us achieve the expected goal.
I would like to thank once again the Minister of Communication for his collaboration. I also reiterate my appreciations to the men and women of the media for their concern.
Thank you for your kind attention.