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Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Nations Cup preps go to the wire

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Nations Cup organisers are in a race to finish preparations in time

Less than four weeks to go until the start of the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, the hosts are still working to complete all the infrastructure.

Work is continuing on stadiums, roads and the main airport in Luanda - and not one ticket has yet gone on sale.

The pitch at the stadium in Luanda has reportedly had no maintenance for weeks because of contractual issues.

"It's going to be a race against time to get everything ready," one source told the AFP news agency.

But Angola's public works minister Higinio Carneiro says there is nothing to worry about.

"The stadiums will be ready, they're practically ready now - there will not be any difficulty hosting the tournament in January," he said.

"We're just dealing with a few aspects now, mainly at the Luanda stadium, things like the external and parking areas, but this is all ongoing and the stadiums will be ready at the end of this month."

The minister said the Angolan government had spent more than a billion dollars on preparing for the competition.

"Perhaps it will be even more than that," he said.

"If you take the contracts for the four stadiums, [they] had a value of 450 million dollars, but other things had to be done on top, like water, energy, the access roads.

"In the end it will actually be a lot more money that we were first talking about."

The tournament kicks-off on 10 January when the hosts play Mali in Luanda.

The final takes place in the same stadium on 31 January with other games taking place in Lubanga, Benguela and Cabinda.

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see also
Angola on track to host CAN
29 Sep 09 |  African
Hayatou backs Angola preparations
10 Sep 09 |  African
Angola 2010 comes under scrutiny
08 Sep 09 |  African
Inside Angola's 2010 stadiums
13 Sep 09 |  African

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