Future of CHAN in the balance after Rwanda 2016 event
A CAF flag was handed to Rwanda after Saturday’s African Nations Championship final in Cape Town, which symbolically represents the small central African country will host the next CHAN tournament in two years time.
But the future of the 16-team event is unclear as CAF admitted they have received no bids to host the 2018 and 2022 tournaments despite a December 31 deadline. Television partners Sport Five are also questioning the marketability and revenue-generating potential of an event without the major African stars.
CAF are to extend the deadline for hosting bids for 2018 and 2020 but will likely have to do much cajoling behind the scenes.
It is a tournament whose costs are now parallel with those of the African Nations Cup but earns just a fraction of the commercial value.
Libya’s success in Saturday’s final was something of a fairy tale after their recent civil war.
But it was also somewhat hollow given that they won just one game at the tournament and needed three successive penalty shoot-outs to succeed.
Officials of the French marketing and TV rights company Sport Five said there would be a future discussion with CAF on the continuation of the event after little television money was generated.
But it was hard to see CAF president Issa Hayatou canning an event designed to give home-based African players a chance for proper international exposure.
He has been widely praised for the idea, although the poor standard of football does not help the image of the African game.