The Senegalese football authorities are setting their sights on a possible co-hosting of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with Gambia, a nation that has never hosted the continental championship.
The competition was last held in Senegal in 1999, and authorities in Senegal say they are wrapping up plans to present a bid to the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Senegal is yet to officially submit an application.
However, Sports Minister El Hadj Malick Gackou told reporters in Senegal on Tuesday that he would soon forward their papers to the Confederation of African Football [CAF].
“Senegal is planning to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations [with Gambia] and one of the cities of the country we will be developing for the event is Zinguinchor. It will be among the cities to host a group during the competition,” Gackou said.
Zinguinchor is Senegal’s second largest city after capital Dakar and the chief town of the Casamance area, where a separatist movement has been fighting for independence or autonomy of the region since 1982. Zinguinchor was also one of the host cities during Senegal 1992.
It is believed that if the project is carried out well, it will give The Gambia the chance to take part in a major competition of football.
“It would be well, like Guinea Equatorial and Gabon in 2012 Nations Cup, to give to another country of the under-area (West Africa) the possibility of taking part in a final phase of Cup of Africa,” a source close to the Senegalese FA said.