S.Africa to pay $53 million to host Africa Cup | sports | Hindustan Times
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S.Africa to pay $53 million to host Africa Cup

sports Updated: Oct 25, 2012 21:49 IST

AFP
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South Africa on Thursday said it will spend 461 million rand ($53 million, 41 million euros) to stage the Africa Cup of Nations next year but denied it was a "vanity project" in tough economic times.

South Africa stepped in after the football showcase was shifted from conflict torn Libya and had to find the funds to pick up the hosting tab amid a slowing economy and rising debt levels.

"We are ensuring that we cut out any form of extravagance," Deputy finance minister Nhlanhla Nene told reporters, saying the tournament had not been budgeted for in the current financial year.

"What we have approved for funding for Afcon, we have cut it absolutely to the bone...I don't think we can regard it as a vanity project."

South Africa was only due to stage the continent's championship in 2017 but the country's lauded 2010 World Cup, which saw a building boom on stadiums, roads and airports, would help with hosting duties, he said.

The costs for the tournament, which runs from January 19 to February 10, were outlined in the medium term budget policy statement which was tabled on Thursday.

Funds were diverted from reprioritised spending and will go to areas such as to host cities, security and health.

The tournament will be played in five host cities and towns - Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and the mining town Rustenburg.

South Africa is also to take over the 2014 African Nations Championship for local-based footballers.