From ELIAS CHIPEPO In Gold Coast, Australia –
AS speculation continues over the new host for the 2019 All-African Games (AAG), Government says Zambia is not ready to host the pan-African Games and no bid was submitted.
Zambia has been linked as host for the 2019 event after eventual hosts Equatorial Guinea pulled out and cited falling oil prices and economic problems as one reason for the withdrawal.
According to various media reports, Lusaka, Nairobi (Kenya) and Accra (Ghana) were frontrunners to host the 12th edition of the Games which might not be held if a host is not found.
But while Ghana is said to be interested in bidding for the 2023 event, Director of Sports Bessy Chelemu said Zambia had no capacity to host the Games.
Chelemu said a bid was required to be submitted together with an expression of interest which is given by the African Union for a country interested in hosting the Games needed to fill in.
She said in an interview here that hosting the AAG was a massive undertaking which needed a lot of investment and more facilities especially that the country would need to host about 5,200 athletes.
“So I think for Zambia, we are not yet ready to host the All-African Games. As you are aware, Africa has got 52 countries and if all send about 100 athletes that would mean an average 5,200 athletes coming for the games.
She said presently, Zambia lacks the facilities to adequately host such a magnitude adding any plans to host such games can only come later.
The last AAG was held in Congo Brazzaville where Zambia won gold through Kabange Mupopo in women 400m flat while boxer Ben Muziyo won bronze.