Connect with us

AFCON

AFCON 2025: Nigeria-Benin joint bid as well as that of Morocco and Algeria may hit the rocks

Published

on

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Although CAF President, Patrice Motsepe on Saturday confirmed that six bids are in the race to replace Guinea as hosts of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations hosts, speculations have narrowed the bid to three.

Those currently in the race are: Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Zambia and Benin-Nigeria.

But the on-going spat between Morocco and Algeria may see both being tecnically edged out to avert possible boycott by any of the duo that may not win the bid.

Facility-wise, both are eminently qualified to host the tournament. But considering the last minute withdrawal of Morocco from the on-going African Nations Championship in Algeria, a reprisal boycott could be anticipated should the Moroccans get the bid.

Advertisement

Morocco have in the past five years been the destination for the hosting of most competitions in Africa. Among such are the 2017 edition of CHAN, the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations last year as well as the Women’s CAF Champions League and the CAF Super Cup.

If Algeria gets the nod, another boycott from Morocco could be expected. Both countries rank among African football powers and the chances of their qualification for the championship is very high just as possible boycott looms.

With the two North African countries possibly being ruled out, the race then turns to West Africa and Southern African contest.

Benin-Nigeria hold the flag for West Africa, the region originally to host the championship. Zambia and South Africa from the Southern region are the other contestants.

If South Africa wins the bid as possibly the country with the best facilities among the quartet, it will be the  third time the country will be hosting after that of 1996 and 2013.

Advertisement

The influence of the CAF president, Motsepe, a South African, may also be suspected. Nigeria hosted in 1980 and co-hosted with Ghana in 2000. This time, it is another joint bid with Benin Republic who have never hosted just like Zambia.  

CAF officials will do inspection tours of all the candidates this month with the winners to be announced on February 10.

South African billionaire businessman Motsepe said the successful country or countries would offer the best “transport, logistics, hotels and beautiful stadiums”.

“Each region will have a chance to organise a CAN (Cup of Nations). We cannot assign the organisation of the CAN successively to the same region.”

With that statement, the joint bid of Nigeria and Benin appears dead on arrival as another West African country, Cote d’ivoire will host the preceeding edition meant for this year in 2014.

Advertisement

The pendulum therefore swings in favour of the Southern African region where South Africa and Zambia are the contestant.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

AFCON

Nigeria’s AFCON 2025 fixtures almost in same pattern with World Cup qualifiers

Published

on

Confederation of African Football (CAF)  has now released the full fixtures of the qualifying series for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.

The fixtures for the Nigerian team is almost in the same pattern with that of the 2026 World Cup qualification which has seen the Super Eagles wobbling.

Like that of the World Cup, the Super Eagles will begin their quest for qualifcation for AFCON with a home game in Uyo as they will host Benin Republic.

As it was in the World Cup, they will then head to Rwanda. Last November, their second match was played in Rwanda which hosted Zimbabwe home match. This time the Super Eagles will be facing Rwanda, the same team they will meet when the World Cup qualification series resume in March next year.

On Match Day 3, the Super Eagles will host Libya and will have the reverse fixture immediately after that of Match Day 3.

Advertisement

Later they travel to Benin for Match Day 5 before hosting Rwanda on the last match day.

The Fixtures

  • September 2 – Nigeria vs Benin Republic; Libya vs Rwanda
  • September 6 – Rwanda vs Nigeria; Benin Republic vs Libya
  • October 11 – Nigeria vs Libya; Benin Republic vs Rwanda
  • October 16 – Libya vs Nigeria; Rwanda vs Benin Republic
  • November 11 – Benin Republic vs Nigeria; Rwanda vs Libya
  • November 15 – Nigeria vs Rwanda; Libya vs Benin Republic

The top two teams qualify for AFCON 2025

Continue Reading

AFCON

Rohr roars warning to Benin; Nigeria, Rwanda will not be easy

Published

on

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

Former Nigeria manager, Gernot Rohr now handling Benin Republic has warned The Cheetahs of Benin not to expect an easy match when the team meet Rwanda and Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

 Last month, he led his team to defeat both Rwanda and Nigeria in World Cup qualifying duels in Abidjan, where Benin Republic are compelled to play their home matches following inadequate facilities at home.

 Benin’s 1-0 defeat of Rwanda was Rohr’s first victory with the team. Days later, he followed up with a 2-1 defeat of Nigeria, the first Benin Republic victory in over 65 years.

 Those wins have put Benin in the frame of possible qualification for the World Cup. They are now to meet Nigeria and Rwanda again in World Cup qualifiers.

Advertisement

 It won’t be easy, remarked Rohr.  Hear the Franco-German as he spoke in French but translated into English for the Sports Village Square: “From September we will play against Nigeria before facing Libya and Rwanda.  

“These are three difficult opponents.  We had already played Rwanda and Nigeria but be careful, it’s not because we won Rwanda and Nigeria that it will be easy matches.

“ We know that it is possible to achieve good performances again.  We know that Nigeria with its great players will want to take revenge against us.

“ I think it will probably be an interesting match in Uyo before continuing against Libya.  I suppose in Abidjan because in September the Mathieu Kerekou friendship stadium  will not be ready.  

“Everything will be decided in three months in September, October and November.  It’s a difficult group but it’s playable.  

Advertisement

“You have to finish in the top two.  We had a team that is becoming solid, where the players are like brothers, accomplices.  I hope we will recover the players who were absent.  We are confident.”

Continue Reading

AFCON

Coaches react after intriguing Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers Draw

Published

on

The journey towards qualification to the  Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 shifted a gear higher on Thursday, after CAF officially conducted the draw of the qualifiers in Johannesburg South Africa.

A total of 48 nations will vie for the 24 places that will contests the 35th edition of Africa’s most prestigious competition.

This is what some of the coaches has to say in reaction to the draw outcomes.

Emerse Fae, Cote d’Ivoire coach

“I am satisfied because we are going to play against Zambia, a team that we know very well. In our last qualifying campaign, we lost against them. We know what mistakes to avoid.

Advertisement

“I am also satisfied because I did not want to have countries geographically far from Cote d’Ivoire which will lessen the travel load. That said, in Africa, there are no longer small teams. All the teams will want to challenge us because we are the reigning champions”

Leslie Notši

“The draw is very interesting because when you have the host in your group, it means they qualify automatically for the tournament, and you have to double your efforts to secure the remaining qualification spot which will be contested by the three other teams in the group.

“We will work very hard to see to it that we are competitive side and try as much as we can to get maximum points in matches against countries that are with us in our group. It will be very important to do well in our home games and I know all eyes will be on “Morocco as the hosts and a powerhouse in our group. We will draw inspiration from recent games where we played the likes of Nigeria as well as Cote d’voire and were able to frustrate them”

Amir Abdou, Mauritania Coach

Advertisement

“Quite a complicated draw. Egypt will be the big contender for qualification. They have a good track record that speaks volumes.

“Seven times African champions – that’s no small thing. We also have Cape Verde who eliminated us during the last AFCON.

“This team is made up of many quality players. We have Botswana, they are having a good qualifying campaign for the World Cup. We have a pretty strong group. It’s up to us to believe in ourselves. We will do everything we can to achieve our fourth participation in the AFCON”.

Kévin Nicaise, Chad coach

 “We are already having the reigning African champions facing the last qualified team in the FIFA rankings. These will definitely be very difficult matches played at high intensity. We will fight to defend our nation’s pride. The group remains relatively open, and we will approach these qualifications with humility and ambition”.

Advertisement

 Badou Zaki, Niger coach

“We have every chance of qualifying. For me, Ghana is a football country with a team that is blessed with great professionals. But this is not the team of 5 or 6 years ago. Even at home, they can lose.

“Angola had a good showing at the last AFCON with their beautiful, modern and fast football. It’s a team that shook up the big teams in Cote d’Ivoire.

“I know Sudan very well. They are first in their World Cup qualifying group. They are going to be dangerous, but we know our strengths and we know we can go far”

-CAF

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Most Viewed