Egypt Wins the Bid to Host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations!
By Muhammed Aladdin
The Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) has announced earlier that the 2019 African Cup of Nations’ host will be announced on Wednesday, the 9th of January, with Egypt and South Africa being the topmost contenders. However, it seems that there’s been a change in plans as CAF decided to bring us the good news earlier than expected! Yes, Egypt has officially won the bid!
The Executive Committee of CAF met today, Tuesday the 8th of January, instead of the 9th, in Dakar to choose the hosting country. According to Sky News Arabia, Egypt got 16 votes while South Africa got only one!
Before Egypt came forward with its bid, Cameroon was one of the strongest candidates for the event. However, it has been stripped of the opportunity by CAF over delays in preparations and security concerns. Egypt stepped in for the spot on the 13th of December 2018 and has been preparing ever since.
On Monday, the Pharaohs released a promotional video for why Egypt should be the host of the Africa Cup of Nations, which is destined to be held from June 15 to July 13.
The video campaign shows how Egypt is more than ready to host the championship, and how Egypt despite the challenges always seems to prevail. It also highlights the myriad of Egyptian stadiums such as those in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Al-Salam, Ismailia, and Port Said. Those in addition to the most important of them all, Burg Al-Arab Stadium, which is one of the largest stadiums in the world, with a seating capacity of more than 82,000 spectators.
Egypt was the host of the Africa Cup of Nations four times in 1959, 1974, 1986, and lastly in 2006. It is worth mentioning that the Pharaohs have also won the championship 7 times!
On the other hand, South Africa has only hosted the championship twice; the first one in 1996 and the second in 2013 as a replacement for Libya. South Africa has been vocal about many concerns and has asked CAF to provide clarity on hosting requirements as the country has only six months to prepare. This resulted in some speculations that show that the country might not be ready. However, the country still proposed its bid because it could expand South Africa’s cultural and business interest.