South Africa and Morocco head emergency Afcon host queue
South Africa and Morocco have emerged as rivals to replace Cameroon as the host of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon of the tournament hosting rights last week over doubts to do with delivery of infrastructure and security fears. Despite the West African nation’s preparations having long lagged behind schedule, CAF admitted that it had “no plan B” in place for the tournament which takes place next June.
According to Danny Jordaan, President of the South Africa Football Association (SAFA), CAF has already asked if the 2010 World Cup hosts could step up in place of Cameroon.
SAFA has said it is “seriously considering” hosting the competition, but the decision rests with the South African government, who will be consulted by the association in the near future. South Africa previously stepped in to host the 2013 edition after Libya withdrew.
There is also reportedly interest from Morocco, a nation that recently missed out on the 2026 FIFA World Cup and was stripped of the 2015 Afcon after asking for a change of date over Ebola virus fears.
Morocco is known to be desperate to host large-scale events as it prepares for another World Cup bid – in a joint push with Spain and Portugal – in 2030.
Magdi Abdelghani, board member of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA), has suggested that Morocco would have the backing of CAF to step in, telling the AFP: "Egypt will not submit an application and I believe that there is a consensus for Morocco to host the competition.
"If Morocco is a candidate, it would be the best placed.”
Few African countries have the capacity to host the 2019 Afcon, which will be the first 24-team summer edition of the tournament.
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