Minister of Sport and Recreation, Tokozile Xasa. Picture: KOPANO TLAPE/GCIS
Minister of Sport and Recreation, Tokozile Xasa. Picture: KOPANO TLAPE/GCIS

Cape Town — The SA Football Association’s (Safa’s) top brass hope to meet sports minister Tokozile Xasa within the next two days to finalise a bid to step in as emergency hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Safa has until midnight on Friday to confirm their intention to host the tournament but still needs government backing to go ahead with the process.

Cameroon was stripped of the right to host 2019’s finals by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in November.

Xasa said last Friday the government would be keen but has yet to meet Safa.

"We have asked for a meeting to appraise her of the whole process‚" Safa acting CEO Russell Paul said on Monday.

It will be a tight timeline for Safa to persuade the government to foot the bill.

Caf insists almost all costs for the running of the Nations Cup be picked up by the host country‚ from the champagne-style catering for its executive committee members in the VIP box at matches‚ to team transportation and accommodation.

Xasa displayed a misunderstanding of the process when she added last Friday: "I was very clear to them [Safa] that if they [Caf] want us to host‚ it must be an offer.

"It must not be like we are bidding, because with bidding there are costs. It must be very clear that SA is not offering to bid for this tournament.

"We do have the stadium infrastructure‚ which will cut costs hosting the tournament‚ and hotels that are ready."

Caf wants documentation filled in by Thursday midnight and will decide in their executive committee meeting on December 26 in Cairo.

Morocco are runaway favourites to get the nod from Caf in what many see as a pre-ordained decision.

At the weekend‚ both Congo and Gabon officially rejected rumours that they were also interested in hosting next June’s showpiece event.