Fu­ture of CHAN in the bal­ance af­ter Rwanda 2016 event

The Herald (South Africa) - - SPORT - Mark Glee­son

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.

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