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CAN Chiefs Confident 2012 Venues Will Be Ready

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea — African football chief Issa Hayatou said Friday he was confident that venues for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon would be ready by the big kickoff on January 21.

"The deadline is the kick-off," African Football Confederation (CAF) president Hayatou told a press conference in Malabo on the eve of the draw for the final phase.

"The main thing is that the football goes ahead. If the stadium is handed over to us on January 20 or on the 21st in the morning we'll be happy," he said.

"The day the World Cup started in Italy (in 1990) there were still bulldozers in the stadium in Milan," Hayatou added.

A CAF delegation has been inspecting venues over the last week in Libreville and Franceville in Gabon and in Malabo and Bata in Equatorial Guinea.

CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani said there were a few "operational details" to be finalised by December but he insisted: "We are delighted with what we have seen and the inspection has been excellent."

Some venues at Angola 2010 were only finished off a few days before the competition started."

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