Sports Minister Moses Mawere says his statement published in the Daily Mail newspaper saying that the country will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AfCON) tournament does not undermine the interests and ambitions of the football association but simply recognise the fact that it has come at a short notice.

In his statement quoted by the government daily, the minister said that hosting the Africa Cup required a lot of resources and time adding that the country would not be able to prepare for the prestigious tournament at such a short notice if it was awarded the the honour.

In an interview with Goal Diggers! Mawere hoped that the Kamanga-led association was not feeling belittled or that its interests and ambitions to bid for the tournament had been undermined or trashed by the government.

“I hope I will not be misunderstood by the association based on the article published in the Daily Mail. The truth is that we cannot bid for the 2019 AfCON because it is such at short notice and we do not have the required resources to prepare for the continent’s biggest tournament. There is a lot that would be required to put in place before we can actually think of bidding for it,” said Mawere.

Last week, FAZ general secretary Adrian Kashala said that the association was interested in bidding for the continental showpiece that would bring together 24 nations but stressed that relevant authorities would be consulted before pen is put to paper.

Soccer fans on the FAZ social media page ridiculed the association’s interest while analysts on different platforms described the statement as unrealistic.

CAF stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights due to delays in preparations. South Africa and Morocco have since indicated interest in hosting the tournament