BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
After the suspense that had lingered for months, CAF is set to announce the host nation for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations as well as that for 2027.
The announcement will be made by CAF president, Dr. Patrice Motsepe. For the 2025 edition, there are five bids on the card. The Kingdom of Morocco is the topmost contender.
There is also a bid by their eastern neighbours, Algeria along with the nascent Nigeria-Benin joint bid as well as that of Zambia and South Africa The 2025 edition was originally to hold in Guinea, but the rights were withdrawn.
They were stripped last year of the hosting rights after being found to be too far behind in building infrastructure for the event. But the coup in that country appeared the remote reason. On 5 September 2021, President of Guinea Alpha Condé was captured by the country’s armed forces in a coup d’état after gunfire in the capital, Conakry.
The new host country for 2025 was originally to have been announced last 10 February. With Algeria as the visible candidate for the 2027 edition, the 2025 bids may have been narrowed to Morocco, Zambia and South Africa. The joint Nigeria-Benin bid is the most unlikely.
Morocco looked the most likely choice for the hosting. The kingdom has a chain of success to lean on for the kingdom to be considered as the appropriate hosts for the 2025 edition.
The kingdom hosted more World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches than any other country in Africa as most teams opted for Morocco to host their matches. In the just concluded 2023 Afcon qualifiers, six countries, namely Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Mali had some of their qualifying encounters in Morocco.
The other candidates for the 2027 editions are: Botswana, Egypt and a joint candidacy from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.