Egypt to host AFCON finals

DAKAR. — Egypt will host the 2019 African Cup of Nations finals between June 15 and July 13, Confederation of African Football president Ahmad Ahmad announced in Dakar yesterday.

The CAF executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as replacements for original hosts Cameroon, who were dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security.

It will be the fifth time Egypt stage the biennial showpiece of African football after 1959, when the country was called the United Arab Republic, 1974, 1986 and 2006.

Egypt only entered the running to host the Cup of Nations when fellow north African country Morocco announced they would not bid to do so. Morocco were the hot media favourites to replace Cameroon as hosts and Egypt said they “did not want to compete against a fellow Arab nation”.

And South Africa missed out on the chance to host just their third AFCON tournament yesterday when CAF president Ahmad Ahmad announced that Egypt would play host to the 2019 edition. And truth be told the voting in the two-country race for the right to do so wasn’t even close.

Egypt and South Africa emerged as the only two candidates to replace original hosts Cameroon who dropped out of the running due to delays in preparation and concerns over security. South African Football Association and their president Danny Jordaan were widely reported to be confident of being the preferred replacement.

Alas, a CAF official confirmed that Egypt received 16 votes from the executive committee, South Africa one and there was one abstention.

As a result, Egypt will host their fifth AFCON tournament, while South Africa have played hosts on two previous occasions – memorably in 1996 when they lifted their only title to date – and 2013 (where they lost in the quarter-finals).
The tournament was first contested back in 1957, some 62 years ago.

Source : The Herald

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