AFCON 2025, 2027: CAF explains Nigeria's snub for hosting right

Posted : 28 September 2023
The Confederation of African Football CAF has given reasons why Nigeria/Benin Republic and other bidding countries did not win the rights to host the 2025 and 2027 editions of the African Cup of Nations, AFCON.

Morroco won the rights to host the 2025 African Cup of Nations while East African countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda won a joint bid to host the 2027 edition.

CAF needed a new host for 2025 edition of the tournament after Guinea was stripped of the rights in October last year due to fears about the readiness of facilities.

The President of the African football governing body, Patrice Motsepe, revealed that the contenders for the 2025 AFCON withdrew because they are backing Morocco to host the 2030 World Cup and AFCON 2025 will be a good dress rehearsal.

No vote was required as a joint bid from Nigeria and Benin, as well as candidacies from Algeria and Zambia, were all withdrawn leaving Morocco as the only contender.

”Nigeria, Benin, and Zambia withdrew to allow Morocco to be the sole candidate to strengthen its candidacy for the 2030 World Cup,” Motsepe stated.

”Morocco is a candidate for the 2030 World Cup on behalf of all Africa,” he added.

It means the North African country is on track to stage the tournament for the second time after first doing so in 1988.

Morocco has unsuccessfully bid for the FIFA World Cup five times and is part of a three-way effort for the 2030 event alongside Spain and Portugal.

East African countries Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda won a joint bid to host the African Cup of Nations in 2027.

The three countries submitted a joint bid tagged ‘EAC Pamoja Bid’ to host the continent.

The EAC Pamoja bid was up against Egypt, hosts of the 2019 tournament; Algeria, who held the 2023 CHAN tournament; Nigeria and Benin Republic; Senegal as well as Botswana, making it a tough race, with the tournament now set to return to East Africa for the first time since 1976 when it took place in Ethiopia.

None of the three countries has hosted the AFCON before.

This means that Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have automatically qualified for the 2027 edition as the hosts.

“The 2027 edition is going to be beautiful. The commitment and drive made by the three presidents of the countries show how eager the region is to host this event.

“We pleaded with Algeria, Zambia and Nigeria-Benin —to announce their withdrawal even though they made their presentations, but we can no longer allow a particular region to host successive tournament again. If Morocco will be hosting in 2025, Algeria also from North Africa cannot host in 2027, and Cote D’Ivoire in West Africa is hosting in 2025 now moved to January/February 2024, how then would another West African country, Nigeria -Benin Republic host when the last time any county from the East Africa hosted was Uganda in 1976.

Moreover, sports and other social infrastructures are in very short supply in most of the East African Countries.

Kenya and Tanzania have only one international-standard stadium venue each and Uganda doesn't have any, which forced their national team to play 2023 Cup of Nations qualifiers at neutral venues.

“One of the key objectives is that the decision that was taken today promotes the development of infrastructure and stadiums and will create enthusiasm among young people, hence the decision to give the hosting right to East Africa,” CAF President, Patrice Motsepe remarked.


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