ALGIERS - Algeria have joined South Africa
in officially declaring interest in hosting the 2013 African
Nations Cup finals, which look increasingly likely to be moved
from Libya due to the ongoing rebellion against Muammar
Algerian Football Federation officials said they would be
interested in stepping into replace their fellow north Africans
when the Confederation of African Football makes a decision on
Libya's ability to host the event at its next meeting in Cairo
"It might help in our bid to qualify for the next World Cup
finals," federation spokesman Abdelkader Berdja told reporters
at a weekend press conference.
South Africa, which will host the 2017 tournament, has
already announced its intention to offer itself as a substitute
for the Libyans, should their civil conflict not end shortly.
The next Nations Cup finals are to be co-hosted by
Equatorial Guinea and Gabon next year after which they move from
every even year to every odd, starting 12 months later in Libya.
South Africa in April stepped in to replace Libya as hosts
of this year's African Youth Championships.
Libyan league football has been suspended since mid-February
but clubs have continued to play in continental club
competitions, by forfeiting their right to play their home leg
in knockout ties, which were reduced to a single match at their
opponent's home ground.
Not surprisingly, no Libyan side got past the third round
of the African Champions League and African Confederation Cup
Libya's national team used Mali as their home ground in the
Nations Cup qualifier in March and played in the Comoros Islands
But Libya have withdrawn their team from the All-Africa
Games qualifier this weekend, handing opponents Egypt a bye into
the final tournament in Maputo in September.
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