Breaking: Egypt grabs AFCON hosting rights in 2019

Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football (Caf) has announced.

Egypt beat South Africa, the only other nation to bid, by 16 votes to one with one abstention at a Caf executive committee vote in Senegal.

Original host nation Cameroon was stripped of staging duties in November because of slow preparations.

Egypt has just six months to prepare for the expanded 24-team finals, which kick off in June.

It will be the fifth time Egypt, which won the tournament when it last hosted in 2006, has staged the tournament.

The Pharaohs have won it 2 out of the 3 times they have hosted. In 2006 and 1986. They failed to win in 1974.

Egypt will use eight stadia in five cities (three in Cairo) for 2019 Nations Cup, including Port Said (one stadium) where 72 fans were killed, seven years ago in 2012. Other cities are Alexandria – two stadia, Ismailia – one stadium, Suez – one stadium

CAF dodged the potential quagmire that South Africa would have presented if they got the hosting rights and failed to qualify on the pitch. Bafana Bafana will now need a result away to Libya in March.

Caf has since offered Cameroon the chance to stage the finals in two years’ time, which has meant that the original hosts for both the 2021 and 2023 finals have been asked to delay their tournaments.

Caf had originally planned to name the new hosts on Wednesday 9 January.

Ivory Coast, which was set to host the 2021, has protested against the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Guinea’s football federation announced on Monday that it has agreed to move its staging of the Nations Cup from 2023 to 2025.

Tuesday’s announcement took place in the Senegalese capital Dakar, which will host Caf’s annual awards ceremony later in the day.

Egypt’s Mohamed Salah is looking to retain his title as he takes on Gabon’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Senegal’s Sadio Mane for the African Player of the Year award.

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