MATHEWS KABAMBA, Kitwe
FOOTBALL administrators Simataa Simataa and Happie Munkondya have said expanding the Africa Cup of Nations from 16 to 24 teams will
increase competition on the continent.
Simataa said in an interview in Lusaka on Thursday that the move is a progressive one as it will ensure that more countries are represented at the biggest football showpiece on the continent.
“Very progressive, out of 54 countries, it will mean only 30 will not be at the tournament this is good, most countries will have representation and this is good for football.
“I do not subscribe to the school of thought that this will dilute the quality of the game, look at the AfCON’s sister tournament [European Championship] they increased the number of teams has that diluted the quality? The answer is no,” Simataa said.
Last week, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) held a symposium in Morocco which shifted the tournament from January/ February to June/July when the European calendar is off season.
The changes will be effected in the 2019 edition to be held in Cameroon.
And Munkondya, former Football Association of Zambia executive committee member, said the move is good for the development of the game in Africa.
Munkondya said the move will work well with the expanded FIFA World Cup.
The World Cup will be increased from 32 to 48 teams in 2026.