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 By Ian Holyman

African Nations Cup venues will be ready in time - Gabon sports minister

The Stade de Franceville will be one of the four sites during the 2017 African Nations' Cup in Gabon.
The Stade de Franceville is one of four venues at which ACN matches will be played.

The four venues scheduled to stage African Nations Cup games next month will be ready in time, Gabon's sports minister has told AFP.

Last year, Gabon agreed to hold the competition after unrest in Libya meant the North African country had to withdraw as host nation.

Gabon has since been hit by civil disorder since the controversial re-election of President Ali Bongo in August amid widespread allegations of voting corruption.

However, sports minister Nicole Assele said everything would be ready for the start of the tournament in the capital, Libreville, on Jan. 14.

"The four stadiums are ready in Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port-Gentil," she said.

Assele had recently expressed "concern" that the venue in the northern city of Oyem, which will host matches involving Ivory Coast, Togo, DR Congo and Morocco, would not be prepared in time.

But she said: "They were not concerns about the stadium, but regarding outside spaces.

"I have been assured that parking facilities will all be ready by the end of the month."

Last week, Assele joined Bongo on a visit to the new stadium in Port-Gentil and said problems with the pitch there had been resolved.

Dismissing opposition calls for a boycott of the competition, she said: "I am not thinking about the elections, but about a celebration of football.

"Dirty washing should be washed in private."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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