Zimbabwe submits bid to host 2017 Afcon

The cash-strapped country had hoped to submit a joint bid with Botswana, but had to go it alone.

FILE: Zifa submitted its documents at the Confederation of African Football’s headquarters in Cairo on Monday. Picture: Stock. Xchng,

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) has submitted a bid to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after crisis-torn Libya had to pull out.

The cash-strapped country had hoped to submit a joint bid with Botswana, but had to go it alone after the Botswana Football Association (BFA) failed to rally its government for backing.

Zifa submitted its documents at the Confederation of African Football's headquarters in Cairo on Monday, ahead of today's deadline.

State media says the bid documents include a letter signed by President Robert Mugabe, guaranteeing his government's commitment to host the tournament in three years' time.

The_ Herald_ newspaper says Zimbabwe wanted to jointly host the tournament with neighbouring Botswana but the BFA reportedly couldn't persuade President Ian Khama's government to guarantee it would underwrite the costs.

Critics say Zimbabwe stands little chance of winning on its own.

Rival bidders include Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania but Zifa officials say it's important to shrug off pessimism.