Egypt has today (Tuesday) been announced as the new host of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, replacing Cameroon.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon of hosting rights last month amid delays in stadium construction.
The tournament will now take place in Egypt from June 15 to July 13, the AFP news agency reported. Egypt saw off competition from South Africa to land hosting rights to the rescheduled event.
This year’s Cup of Nations will mark the first edition of the tournament to feature 24 teams as opposed to 16. Egypt has hosted the tournament four times in the past, most recently in 2006 when it went on to win the competition.
Eight stadia in five different cities – Alexandria, Cairo, Ismailia, Port Said and Suez – are set to be used during Egypt’s staging of the tournament.
Egypt FA vice-president Ahmed Shobair said, according to the BBC: “The guarantee from government helped us to win against South Africa and that will help us to make a good tournament.
“The fans will be back again in the stadiums, which will be full in the tournament I promise.”
The 2006 Africa Cup of Nations took place across six stadia, including the 74,000-seat Cairo International Stadium, which hosted the final.
Egypt had not originally planned on bidding for this year’s event, opting not to do so ahead of an expected bid from fellow North African nation Morocco. However, after Morocco decided not to submit a proposal, Egypt placed a bid of its own and eventually overcame South Africa in the voting process.
Cameroon won the most recent edition of the Cup of Nations in 2017, which was staged in Gabon (pictured).
Image: Ben Sutherland