BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
In deference to the suspected bid by Morocco, Egypt has declined to make a bid for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations which CAF is desperately searching for a possible host.
It was gathered that the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) has declared that it “will not compete with another Arabic country.”
CAF at the weekend withdrew the hosting rights from Cameroon and is suspected to have approached Morocco and South Africa.
Only the latter has confirmed. Morocco has always offered its gates open to international football tournaments and possibly hold the record of failed bid for the World Cup. The failed bid for the 2026 World Cup was the fifth attempt after those of 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2014.
Before now, there had been speculations about Morocco upstaging Cameroon in the hosting of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
That was put to rest last March as the heads of the football governing bodies of both countries held a joint press conference in Marrakech, Morocco to uphold Cameroon’s rights.
But before then, a top Cameroonian media man who is close to the seat of power in Cameroon had told www.sportsvillagesquare.com that Morocco will be the last country to assail the interests of Cameroon in the hosting rights.
He claimed that Morocco has large economic interest in Cameroon which the North African country will not want to jeopardize.
Since the 2013 edition, the Africa Cup of Nations has never held in an originally designated host country. The 2013 edition was to hold in Libya before the country had internal political turmoil. South Africa stepped in as hosts. The 2015 edition was to hold in Morocco, but the qualification of ebola virus ravaged Guinea caused the country to decline and CAF opted for joint hosting by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
The 2017 was also originally ceded to Libya, but as the internal political crisis was still on, the competition moved to Gabon. A full circle of changing host countries is currently on.