By John Essien
Nigeria has been selected as one of the neutral venues for the upcoming 2023 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers after some countries were stripped of the right to host international matches at home.
More than 20 Stadiums were banned last year by CAF from hosting international matches for not meeting the minimum requirements set by the African football governing body.
While affected countries like Eswatini, Sierra Leone, and Liberia have commenced renovation works on their stadium’s others are yet to begin preparation to put the facilities in good condition with less than two months to the qualifiers.
With the ban still in place, member countries without any approved venues will find neutral venues among countries like South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria and Cameroon with more than 5 approved venues to stage their home matches of AFCON 2023 qualifiers.
The Menas of Niger Republic who are in Group F alongside Algeria, Uganda and Tanzania could play their home games in Nigeria owing to the geographical proximity of both nations.
Meanwhile, below are countries set to play their home matches of AFCON 2023 abroad.
• Sierra Leone
• Burkina Faso
• Central Africa Republic
• South Sudan
Other countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Rwanda whose stadiums were banned by CAF might be given one or two matches’ approval before looking for a neutral ground.