Egypt emerges as surprise candidate to host 2019 Afcon

Ten days after the Egyptian Football Association confirmed it would not be bidding to replace Cameroon as the host of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the country has submitted a last-minute pitch to the Confederation of African Football.

Egyptian Football Association member Magdi Abdelghani had previously said that there was a “consensus” across African football for Morocco to host the tournament and indicated that Egypt would throw its weight behind any forthcoming Moroccan bid.

Earlier this week, however, Morocco announced that it was declining to enter into the running to host the tournament. Egypt followed that news by submitting its own bid on Thursday, ahead of today’s deadline, and is currently the only country to have done so.

A South African bid is expected, and remains the favourite to win the hosting rights, although the South African Football Association has said it is still awaiting government approval for its proposal. The deadline for submissions is midnight Egyptian time on Friday.

CAF wants to have a replacement host in place by December 31, with the tournament scheduled to start in June. Cameroon – the Afcon’s defending champion – was stripped of the hosting rights following huge delays to the construction of its stadiums.