Friday, January 20, 2012

Equatorial Guinea to host inaugural Africa Cup of Nations Game

Co-host Equatorial Guinea will open the 28th Edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2012) with a match against Libya in the newly remodeled Bata Stadium tomorrow, Saturday, January 21, 2012 in Bata, the country’s largest city.

“Equatorial Guinea is proud to co-host the Africa Cup of Nations 2012, the continent’s most prestigious cup. This is a great opportunity to show how the country is advancing and our continuous efforts to host international events is a proof of that,” said President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. “Winning the first game is a challenge the Nzalang [national selection] is ready to take on as it will lead the rest of the Cup.”

The Nzalang National team is led in this tournament by their new coach, Brazilian GĂ­lson Paulo. The Bata Stadium is a state-of–the-art venue and one of the many infrastructure projects in which the government of Equatorial Guinea has invested in recent years.

The country has pulled out all the stops to welcome the participating African teams, thousands of fans, and journalists from around the world. Hotels are filled to capacity, and the government has arranged overflow lodgings in private properties and subsidized housing units that are to be distributed to low-income families after the games.

Extra flights have been added to accommodate the many people who will travel between the two tournament venues, Bata and the capital, Malabo. Malabo is located on the island of Bioko, some 45 minutes by air from the mainland city of Bata.