Issa Hayatou, the   president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), has given his vote of confidence in 2010 Africa Cup of Nations hosts Angola.

• Hayatou

At the end of a six-day tour on Tuesday he told reporters in Luanda that he was sure that preparations will be complete by the start of the competition.

“Almost everything is done, and I believe that in the six months that remain, everything will be ready and for this we are optimistic,” said Hayatou.

“We left here with a good impression at all levels.”The tournament runs from 10-31 January next year.
Hayatou saw all four stadia being built from scratch in Luanda, Benguela, Lubango and Cabinda, and visited the training camps and support sites.

The 50,000-seater stadium in Luanda, where the final will be staged, is likely to be the last to be completed.
A spokesman for COCAN, the Angolan organising committee, said all the stadia will be officially opened on 11 November, the country’s independence day, ahead of the competition draw on 20 November.

Hayatou, who was kept largely shielded from the media for the majority of his visit, also met Angolan Prime Minister Paulo Kassoma and Sports Minister Gonçalves Muandumba to discuss arrangements.

Angola, which endured decades of civil war only ending in 2002, has a number of logistical challenges including poor roads, a lack of hotels and high prices due to the demand for services which are in short supply.

The government is spending an estimated US$1bn on preparing the country for the competition, a large part of which, apart from the stadia, is for revamped airports to help teams and fans coming into and travelling around the country.

Obtaining visas can also be a lengthy and difficult process but following his meeting with Hayatou, the sports minister gave a public assurance that there will not be any problems giving out visas.“We just need for people and groups to get organised and co-operate,” Muandumba said.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.