The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has today (Tuesday) appointed Egypt as the new host of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
The BBC said Egypt defeated its sole rival bidder, South Africa, by 16 votes to one, with one abstention, at a CAF Executive Committee gathering in Dakar, Senegal. The AFP news agency added that CAF president Ahmad said this year’s Cup of Nations will now take place in Egypt from June 15 to July 13.
Cameroon had been due to host the tournament, but was stripped of its hosting rights last month amid delays in stadium construction. CAF said that Cameroon had failed to meet a number of compliance conditions, with the organisation having received detailed updates from a number of inspection visits over nearly 18 months.
The Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams for this year’s edition and the requirement for Cameroon to use six stadia instead of the originally-planned four had placed extra strain on its infrastructure and resources.
Morocco, which last year lost out on hosting rights to the 2026 Fifa World Cup, had been considered the favourite to land the reassigned Cup of Nations but ultimately decided not to bid. Egypt had been reluctant to bid against a fellow Arab nation and entered the running after Morocco decided not to proceed.
The 2019 Cup of Nations will be the fifth time that Egypt has staged the tournament. It first held the 1959 Cup of Nations under the moniker of the United Arab Republic, before hosting the 1974, 1986 and 2006 events.
Today’s announcement comes after it emerged that Guinea will now stage the 2025 edition of the national team tournament, instead of the 2023 competition as was originally intended.