Guinea has been removed as host of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), which says the country is not ready to hold the tournament.
It is the latest in a long line of editions of the competition to have had a disrupted build-up, with the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations the last not to have been moved either geographically or on the calendar.
A military junta has run Guinea since September 2021, when colonel Mamady Doumbouya appointed himself Interim President of the country.
“The Executive Committee was unanimous that Guinea will not be ready to host the competition,” the CAF said in a statement.
“The Executive Committee took a unanimous decision based on the report as submitted that the tournament be withdrawn from Guinea.
“The President suggested that a delegation be sent to Guinea to inform them of the decision taken by the Executive Committee.
“The Executive Committee resolved to send a delegation to Guinea to inform them of CAF’s decision to withdraw the Africa Cup of Nations, Guinea 2025 from Guinea.”
The CAF now needs a new host for 2025 and reports from Nigeria indicate the Nigeria Football Federation is plotting a joint bid with Benin.
The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations was held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, as planned.
The 2013 version was held in South Africa, after it swapped 2017 hosting rights with Libya which was the scene of a civil war.
Due to the threat of Ebola, Morocco withdrew as host in 2015 and was replaced by Equatorial Guinea.
With conflict continuing in Libya, the CAF moved the 2017 tournament to Gabon.
Egypt then took over in 2019 from Cameroon over concerns that Cameroon could not deal with the move to a 24-team tournament.
The COVID-19 crisis and weather delayed a 2021 tournament supposed to be in Cameroon, which was scheduled for June and July in 2021 but moved to the start of the year due to heat concerns.
It was ultimately pushed back to 2022 because of the global health crisis.
As part of the domino effect caused by Cameroon’s withdrawal as 2019 host and later reinstatement for 2021, an Ivorian Africa Cup of Nations was delayed from 2021 to 2023 and Guinea’s right to hold the tournament moved to 2025.
Because of weather concerns, the next Africa Cup of Nations has already been moved to January 2024.