Egypt football chief Hany Abo Rida on Tuesday admitted that his country faced a race against the clock to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations during June and July.
The North African country scored a landslide 16-1 victory over sole rivals South Africa in a vote in Dakar to replace Cameroon, who were dropped as hosts due to preparation delays and security concerns.
The tournament kicks off on June 15 and Rido admitted to reporters in the Senegalese capital that having only six months to prepare was a major obstacle.
“Our biggest challenge is time. There is a lot of work to do, but we can manage. I am not worried. We will do our best,” he said.
“When we last hosted the tournament in 2006 it was a big success. We had 16 competing nations then, now there are 24. I believe we will succeed.”
Security will be another challenge for the Egyptians, with three Vietnamese tourists killed in a recent terror attack in the North African country.
“There are big plans for security,” insisted Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee member Rida. “I think we will have no problem.”