Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images.
Morocco and East African Trio to Co-Host Upcoming Africa Cup of Nations
Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda secure hosting rights for the 2027 AFCON, while Morocco takes the helm for 2025.
Morocco, which last hosted the AFCON in 1988 and was initially chosen as the 2015 host before requesting a postponement due to the Ebola virus, has now regained the hosting rights, as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided to strip Algeria of its hosting rights.
Algeria has withdrawn from the bidding to host the 2025 and 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) football tournaments, according to an announcement by the Algerian Football Federation (FAF). This decision came a day before the announcement of Morocco as the replacement host for the 2025 tournament, following Guinea's removal from hosting duties
Morocco had been considered the frontrunner to host the 2025 edition of the premier African sports event. However, Algeria's unexpected withdrawal from the 2027 bid race on Tuesday opened up new possibilities. The FAF cited a "new approach to football development in Algeria" as the reason for their withdrawal.
Following Algeria's withdrawal, the Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania joint bid received approval from the CAF executive committee, marking the return of the biennial tournament to East Africa for the first time since Ethiopia hosted the 1976 finals.
Guinea had previously lost its hosting rights due to concerns about its readiness to organize the tournament. Algeria had previously hosted the AFCON in 1990 when it won its first continental title.
In a statement, the Algerian FAF explained that their withdrawal was driven by a shift in their football development strategy. They emphasized their continued commitment to African football development and expressed gratitude to the African football community for understanding their decision.
Morocco emerged as the strong favorite to replace Guinea as the host, given the strained diplomatic relations between Morocco and Algeria. Earlier in the year, Morocco withdrew from the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria after the host nation denied access to Morocco's national team.
During the host selection ceremony held in Cairo, CAF president Patrice Motsepe expressed his pride in Morocco's successful bid. He noted that competing countries for the 2025 tournament, including Algeria, Zambia, and Nigeria-Benin, had announced their withdrawals, even though they had made presentations. Motsepe explained that the primary reason for their withdrawal was to support Morocco's candidacy for the 2030 World Cup, in collaboration with Spain and Portugal.
While Morocco boasts numerous world-class stadiums and a successful track record in hosting African and global football tournaments, Kenya and Tanzania have one international-standard venue each, and Uganda has none, leading to their national teams playing 2023 Cup of Nations qualifiers at neutral venues. Motsepe emphasized that a key objective of the decision was to promote infrastructure and stadium development, aiming to ignite enthusiasm among young people.
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