By Pilot Sedode
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has selected Egypt as the hosts of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) after their executive meeting in Dakar, Senegal on Tuesday morning.
South Africa and Egypt were the only two nations to submit bids for the tournament, which is only five months away from kicking off after Cameroon was dumped as hosts late last year.
Tuesday’s CAF executive committee revealed Egypt as the nation to replace Cameroon as 2019 Afcon hosts. North African media outlets had predicted an Egyptian win long before the announcement this morning.
Following CAF’s decision to strip the hosting rights from Cameroon because of delays in infrastructure and security concerns, Egypt and South Africa bid to step in as late hosts.
From the outset, the North Africans bid was more coherent and had government approval while South Africa’s lacked the guarantees, the Egyptians desire to host African football’s showpiece event was evident.
This year’s tournament will be unique because the competition has been expanded to 24 nations and has moved from the usual January slot to June.
Egypt last hosted the Afcon in 2006 – for South Africa it was 2013 – they’ve hosted on four occasions in total compared to South Africa’s two.
While South Africa may have lost the bid, Banyana Banyana star Thembi Kgatlana and coach Desiree Ellis are up for awards this evening at the annual CAF awards.
source: eyewitness news