JOHANNESBURG, December 16 (ANA) – The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will take place in either Egypt or South Africa, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has confirmed.
The tournament, which will have 24 teams competing for the first time, is set to be held from June 15 to July 13 next year.
Cameroon were last month stripped of their rights to host the tournament – due to construction delays and question marks over security.
South Africa, who stepped in to host the 2013 Afcon after Libya had been forced to withdraw, had along with Morocco seemingly been the early forerunners to replace Cameroon. Countries such as Ghana and Congo-Brazzaville were also reportedly interested in bidding.
However, it was only Egypt and South Africa who officially announced their candidature in time for Friday's deadline, as confirmed by Caf on Saturday:
"Concerning the process to agree on a new host country of the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 (Afcon), the Confederation Africaine de Football (CAF) today confirms that: formal applications have been received from the Egyptian and South African football associations to host the Afcon 2019."
Apart from 2013, South Africa – who staged the 2010 World Cup - also hosted the 1996 Afcon, when Bafana Bafana were crowned champions. Egypt, record seven-time Afcon winners, have hosted the tournament on three previous occasions, most recently in 2006.
The 2019 host country will be determined by a Caf Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting which will take place in Dakar, Senegal on January 9.
African News Agency (ANA)