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Nations Cup 2015: Preparations underway

Manuel Toledo, BBC Africa
Equatorial Guinea's Presiden, Teodoro Obiang(with Throphy) and CAF President, Hayatou
Equatorial Guinea's Presiden, Teodoro Obiang(with Throphy) and CAF President, Hayatou

Architects in Mongomo are working around the clock to finish one of the four stadiums due to host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in just over a month.

Mongomo, the hometown of Equatorial Guinea's Presiden, Teodoro Obiang along with Ebebeyin, Bata and Malabo, are set to host the finals. Equatorial Guinea agreed to organize the tournament last month at the request of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

CAF took the finals away from Morocco, who had demanded a delay due to their fears over Ebola.

The stadiums in Malabo and Bata were both used as venues when Equatorial Guinea co-hosted the 2012 Nations Cup with Gabon.

However, work needs to be done on the grounds in both Ebebeyin and Mongomo. "The turf for Mongomo and Ebebeyin stadiums is going to be brought by plane from Europe," one of the supervisors told the BBC.

Work also needs to be done on the stadium structure and other facilities, but all those involved in the preparations are confident the work will be completed in time.

"Time is a big challenge, but the good thing is that it's not new for us to work against time," President Francisca Obiang Jimenez of National Projects said. 

"We have built almost an entire city, Sipopo, in about two years and we've also built a highway.

Everybody was expecting that would finish four years from now, but we finished it on time. So, I don't think there will be much problem with the stadiums, “ he noted.

The new highway means you can travel from Bata, on the coast, to Mongomo, located near the eastern border with Gabon, in around two hours.

While the stadiums look set to be ready in time, having enough accommodations could be a challeng for the organizers in both Mongomo and Ebebeyin.
Ebebeyin has only one large hotel of international standards. "We have hotels and we have also some social houses that we've built and have not given to anybody yet," Ms Obiang Jimenez told us.

So, we are furnishing them in case we find ourselves with not enough rooms. According to what the CAF said, we have more than enough."

The government and organizers are also taking measure against the possibility of the deadly Ebola virus getting into the country. All passengers arriving at Malabo Airport from abroad will have their temperature checked.


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