The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals tournament in Gabon will go ahead as planned despite the ongoing wave of riots following President Ali Bongo’s re-election, CAF has confirmed.
A statement released by CAF spokesman Junior Binyam states that, “There will be no change, we are following proceedings closely. As things stand, the schedule is being maintained, the draw for the finals will take place at Libreville on October 19 as scheduled.”
However, he warned things could change: “The site will be debated and evaluated at the annual CAF meetings (in Cairo) between September 21-27.”
The 16-nation bi-annual finals is planned to take place between January 14-February 5 in Gabon after original hosts Libya were stripped of the competition due to the ongoing civil conflict in the North African nation.
The 2015 edition also switched venue a mere two months before the finals when Morocco was stripped of hosting rights following its request to delay the tournament due to fears over the Ebola virus.
Those finals were eventually staged on schedule but in Equatorial Guinea, which also co-hosted the 2012 edition with Gabon.
On Wednesday, thousands of angry protesters were arrested after Bongo was declared winner of disputed Presidential polls.