Within the framework of Egypt’s preparations to host the African Cup of Nations (AFCON-2019)، scheduled for June 2019، Prime Minister Dr. Mustafa Madbouly chaired a meeting of the Supreme Committee overseeing the tournament with a view to following up the arrangements required by various ministries and entities.
The meeting was attended by Dr. Mohammed Shaker، Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy، Dr. Rania Al-Mashaat، Minister of Tourism، Dr. Mohamed Maait، Minister of Finance، Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy، Minister of Local Development، Dr. Amr Talaat، Minister of Communications and Information Technology، Head of Supreme Council for Media Regulation Makram Mohamed Ahmed and Diaa Rashwan، head of the State Information Service.
At the outset of the meeting، Madbouly pointed out that the meeting aims to reach full coordination among all concerned bodies in the country on all arrangements before the launch of the 2019 African Cup of Nations; especially that it coincides with Egypt’s presidency over the African Union. The Prime Minister said that such tournament، in general، is an opportunity for various governorates to develop the areas located on the vicinity of stadiums، stressing the need to work together as a team to achieve the best-desired results.
The Prime Minister assigned the Tourism Ministry to prepare tourist programs for the fans and various sports delegations to visit the country different touristic attractions، especially in coastal cities، especially that the tournament is scheduled to be hosted in the summer.
He assigned the Minister of Communications and Information Technology to provide high-level coverage for all tournament matches، as well as work to increase the internet speed in areas located on the vicinity of stadiums.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of providing comprehensive health services for players، in addition to the ability to deal with patients or injured in general. He also directed to deploy largest possible number of ambulances around stadiums، stressing the importance of expediting the issuance of visas for sports delegations، in coordination between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Interior. For his part، Dr. Mohammed Shaker، Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy، pointed out that his ministry has formed emergency teams to be ready all time throughout the tournament.
Dr. Amr Talaat، Minister of Communications and Information Technology، pointed out that all stadiums were connected to fiber cables to ensure the quality and effectiveness of internet speeds، noting that coordination is ongoing for television broadcasting to be with the same cables.
The Minister added that his Ministry is working to improve the coverage of voice services، noting that a package of voice and internet services will be prepared by the Egyptian Telecom Company for delegations and fans of different teams. As for the Health Ministry’s preparations، the officials pointed out that an emergency plan has been drawn throughout the tournament، in addition to providing a hotline and a call center in 3 languages: Arabic، English and French. The officials added that a fully equipped medical unit will be set up in each stadium and there will be ambulances in places of residence of players and delegations participating in the tournament، adding that a number of hospitals will be on alert to receive any emergency cases
During the meeting، Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy، Minister of Local Development، reviewed a report on preparations of the five governorates (Cairo، Alexandria، Suez، Ismailia and Port Said) which will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations.
In this vein، the Minister pointed out that five traffic committees have been formed to inspect the governments’ sports and health facilities، hotels، main areas and streets، public utilities، fire and traffic services، public squares and marketing and cultural activities.
On 8 January، Egypt was granted hosting rights of the Nations Cup after winning a majority of votes of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
Egypt obtained 16 out of 18 votes، with only one vote going to sole rival South Africa، while the remaining voting country abstained.
The Nations Cup is scheduled to take place from 21 June to 13 July، having been moved from JanuaryFebruary to avoid club-versus-country clashes.
Egypt has hosted four editions of the Nations Cup in 1959، 1974، 1986 and 2006.
The Pharaohs won the last of their record seven titles in 2010.
This year’s edition has seen major changes، with the tournament expanded to 24 teams up from 16، and moved to a summer schedule instead of its former January-February calendar.