DAKAR – Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations between June 15 and July 13, Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad announced in Dakar on Tuesday.
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".
Egypt boast many international-standard venues with the Cairo International Stadium (72,000) and Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria (87,000) boasting the largest capacities.
The choice of Egypt will immediately make them favourites to win a record-extending eighth Cup of Nations this year.
They won three of the four previous tournaments they hosted, failing only in 1974 when they were beaten by Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) in the semi-finals.
The star of the current team, Liverpool attacker Mohamed Salah, is favourite to retain the African Player of the Year award in Dakar later Tuesday.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)