Egypt were named as the hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, after the Confederation of African Football voted in favour of the North Africans over South Africa on Tuesday afternoon.
Cameroon, who were initially handed hosting rights for the tournament, were stripped of the opportunity last month due to a lack of infrastructure and security concerns.
The hosts of the 2010 Fifa World Cup were thought to be the initial favourites to replace Cameroon after the South African Football Federation (Safa) expressed their desire to step in as hosts.
Morocco, who were also early contenders to host the tournament, then pulled out of the running, which subsequently saw their fellow North Africans Egypt enter the fray.
SA had previously stepped in as hosts in 2013 after the tournament was moved away from war-torn Libya, due to having the infrastructure which was laid for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but the country’s government wanted certain guarantees from Caf that they would take responsibility for the costs of hosting, which were reported to be around R140-million, before giving their backing to Safa.
It is believed that Caf failed to respond to the government inquiry over the details in question.
Egypt will now host the tournament for the fourth time, having last organised the tournament 13 years ago, where they secured their fifth Afcon title.
2019’s edition of the competition will have 24 teams competing for the first time, having been expanded from 16. It will also be moved to an off-season schedule instead of its former January-February calendar.
The decision also means that Bafana Bafana will now have to qualify on their own, which will see them have to get at least a point away to Libya in their final qualifier in March.
Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
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