Nigeria loses out on AFCON 2027 hosting right to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania



Nigeria has lost the joint bid with the Benin Republic to host the African Cup of Nations in 2027, as Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania are named joint hosts of the 2027 tournament.

This comes after the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh arrived in Egypt on Tuesday September 26, with representatives of the Nigeria Football Federation to bid for the host AFCON 2027.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) also announced that Morocco will stage the 2025 edition.

Morocco last hosted the AFCON in 1988 and was chosen in 2015 but asked for the tournament to be postponed because of the Ebola virus, although CAF later decided to strip the North African nation of the hosting rights.

This comes after Algeria pulled out of the running to stage the Africa Cup of Nations in either 2025 or 2027.

The FAF said in a statement that it had “sent a letter to the Confederation of African Football (CAF) informing it of its decision to withdraw its bids to host the Africa Cup of Nations” in 2025 and 2027.

Algeria was due to come up against its North African neighbour Morocco as well as Zambia and a joint Nigeria-Benin bid for the hosting of the 2025 tournament.

“This withdrawal can be explained by a new approach from the FAF (Algerian Football Federation) related to its strategy for developing football in Algeria,” it said.

The Kenya-Uganda-Tanzania bid then got the nod from the CAF executive committee, taking the biennial tournament back to East Africa for the first time since Ethiopia staged the 1976 finals.

“I am very proud of Morocco,” said CAF president Patrice Motsepe after naming the successful hosts in Cairo.

“Morocco’s competing countries (for 2025 tournament) Algeria, Zambia, and Nigeria-Benin, announced their withdrawal, even if these countries still made their presentation,” he said.

“The main reason is to support Morocco in its candidacy for the 2030 World Cup,” jointly with Spain and Portugal, explained Motsepe.

Morocco boasts many world-class stadiums and have successfully hosted numerous African and world football tournaments. But Kenya and Tanzania have only one international-standard venue each and Uganda none, which forced their national team to play 2023 Cup of Nations qualifiers at neutral venues.

“One of the key objectives is that the decision that was taken today (promotes) the development of infrastructure and stadiums (and) be a source of enthusiasm among young people,” said Motsepe.

“Today, only five or six countries out of the 54 CAF members are able to apply to host the African Cup. Consequently, it will not be possible to make this alternation,” he said.

Ivory Coast will host the 2023 Cup of Nations, which has been put back to January and February 2024 due to the rainy season in west Africa.

“The timing is not ideal,” Motsepe has said, referring to the tournament falling in the middle of the European club season.

“But we could not risk the tournament being disrupted by inclement weather,” added the South African billionaire, who was appointed CAF president in 2021.

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