Ivory Coast will have no problem hosting 2021 AFCON - president
Ivory Coast will be ready to stage the new-look African Nations Cup in 2021, the West African nation's president has insisted.
The Confederation of African Football announced last month that the tournament will be moved from its traditional January and February slot to June and July, and will -- like the European Championship -- be expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
Cameroon will stage the next edition of the bi-annual tournament, and in response to media speculation that the 2019 hosts will not be ready to cope with the bigger tournament, Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara told reporters his country will have everything in place for 2021.
"We note the decision to increase the number of participating teams and the Ivory Coast has the necessary infrastructure," the African leader said.
"A few days ago, we staged the Jeux de la Francophonie with 4,000 athletes from 54 countries. So, Ivory Coast has the infrastructure and in any case, we'll continue up to 2021 building the necessary infrastructure to stage the final tournament."
The 2021 tournament will be the first time Ivory Coast will have staged African football's showpiece event since 1984. Guinea have already been nominated as the 2023 hosts.
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman