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No change in AFCON venues despite pitch complaints

No change in AFCON venues despite pitch complaints

Gabon

The Confederation of African Football says all Quarter Final games of the ongoing Africa cup of Nations will go on as planned despite silent concerns over poor quality of the pitches.

At a news conference in the Gabonese capital of Libreville, CAF said it took the decision to go ahead with the games as against calls for relocating some of the games since its tests proved otherwise.

CAF argued that scientific tests carried out by its technical team showed that there was no correlation between the reported cases of injured players and the nature of the pitches.

“Port Gentil pitch was a matter of concern but we have had some days for the pitch to rest and to have the necessary care and we do hope to have a better one for the quarter final. Nothing scientifically has been proved to relate injuries to the state of the pitch most people are assuming that is the case but we can’t work based on assumptions. Even in the EPL where they have the most beautiful pitches in the world, they have injuries occurring days after days. So the organizing committee in their meeting on Thursday had considered that things may go on as they are. So the port Gentil stadium will host the quarter final game and the third place playoff nothing has changed,” said Junior Binyam, CAF media director.

In a related development, CAF has strongly vouched for the performance of referees at this year’s tournament. Speaking to the issue, CAF said all referees went through a rigorous validation exercise which meant they were going to show up at the games with unblemished records and skill capability.

Gabon has been hosting 15 other African countries to the 31st Africa Cup of Nations. The Quarter Final matches are being held on Saturday and Sunday.

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