The head of Zambia's soccer governing body has said the southern African nation will push in the bid for hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in September this year, the Times of Zambia reported on Wednesday.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) president Kalusha Bwalya said the hosting of the regional Council of Southern African Football Associations (COSAFA) Senior Challenge Cup was an eye- opener that has brought out Zambia's hidden abilities to host major international competitions in future.
The 1988 African Footballer of the Year said hosting the regional tournament from July 6 to 20 had brought out Zambia's ability to successfully stage major international tournaments after hosting the Zone Six Games in December last year.
He said his executive will now engage the government in taking the intentions of hosting the 2019 Africa Cup competition to another dimension adding that with two ultra-modern stadia standing and two others planned, the hosting of the event will not be difficult.
After successfully hosting the COSAFA, we now have to take the AFCON bid to another level. We still have time to construct two more stadia; this is only 2013. We know of countries that have to host the AFCON with only two stadia in place. We will step up planning the bid. Bids have started being sent to CAF. We are still taking with the sports minister, I think by September, we should be able to send the bid," he was quoted as saying by the paper.
Zambia has never hosted the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
Zambia's last attempt was in 2004 when Tunisia won the bid to organize the event. In 1988, Zambia was granted the rights to stage the tournament but failed due to lack of infrastructure with Morocco taking up the mantle.