Egypt will replace Cameroon as the hosts of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad announced in Dakar Tuesday.
The CAF executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as replacements for original hosts Cameroon, who were dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security.
“I am pleased to announce that Egypt will host CAN (Cup of Nations) 2019,” Malagasy Ahmad told reporters.
“I want to thank the two countries — they came to the rescue of the CAF when we saw that the evolution of the work in Cameroon was not developed.”
A CAF official told AFP that Egypt received 16 votes from the executive committee, South Africa one and there was one abstention.
Ahmad made the announcement just hours after CAF said it would not disclose the winner until Wednesday to allow the media to concentrate on the annual awards ceremony in Dakar later Tuesday.
It will be the fifth time Egypt stage the biennial showpiece of African football after 1959, when the country was called the United Arab Republic, 1974, 1986 and 2006.
Egypt only entered the running to host the Cup of Nations when fellow north African country Morocco announced they would not bid to do so.
Morocco were the hot media favourites to replace Cameroon as hosts and Egypt said they “did not want to compete against a fellow Arab nation”.
Egypt boasts many international-standard venues with the Cairo International Stadium (72,000) and Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria (87,000) boasting the largest capacities.
Ismailia, Port Said, and Suez are other possible venues for tournament matches as the Cup of Nations returns to North Africa after a 13-year absence.