Egypt to host 2019 AFCON
Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), it has been announced.
The news, which followed an executive meeting in Dakar, brings to an end more than a month of chaos and confusion after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights in November due to infrastructural and security fears.
Egypt and South Africa had been the only two emergency bidders for the hosting rights to the reassigned competition, which begins on 15th June. The 2019 event is the first to feature 24 teams, an eight-team increase from previous editions.
The Egyptian Football Association (EFA) had originally declined the opportunity to bid, placing its support behind a Moroccan bid. However, when Morocco also declined to join the hosting race, Egypt submitted a late proposal.
The decision means that further confusion has been avoided, with South Africa yet to qualify for the competition, they face a final qualifier against Libya in March.
Traditionally, the host nation has been handed automatic qualification to the event, with Egypt already having confirmed their place at the expanded 24-team summer tournament.
The announcement of Egypt as the new host marks the final part of the reshuffle caused by the initial move to take the 2019 competition out of Cameroon. Cameroon will now host the 2021 edition, followed by the Ivory Coast in 2023 and Guinea in 2025.
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