…East Africa hosts after 48-year wait

Nigeria’s hopes of jointly hosting the African Cup of Nations with Benin Republic in 2027 were dashed on Wednesday after the Confederation of Africa Football’s Executive Committee voted in favour of a co-bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The event took place at the Cairo Marriott Hotel in Zamalek, Cairo.

The joint East African bid for the 2027 edition of the AFCON returns Africa’s football showpiece to the region for the first time since 1976, when the tournament was hosted by Ethiopia.

The co-bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda also outclassed proposals from Botswana, Egypt and Senegal, while Algeria, who were also candidates, withdrew on Tuesday.

Kenya was awarded the hosting rights in 1996 but was stripped because of poor preparations, with South Africa getting the nod to host the continent instead.

They only recently had a long FIFA ban for government interference in the running of their football federation lifted.

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Nigeria had put forward the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja; Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo; Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos; Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna; Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba; Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City and the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano as venues to host matches at the tournament, while in the Republic of Benin, the Stade Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou and the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo were listed.

Nigeria hosted and won the 12th edition of the AFCON in 1980 and then co-hosted the 22nd edition with Ghana in 2000 — losing in the final to Cameroon.

Meanwhile, Morocco was awarded the hosting rights of the 2025 AFCON finals on Wednesday, replacing Guinea, who were stripped of the rights last year.

Morocco won by default after Algeria, Zambia and a joint bid from Benin and Nigeria all withdrew before the vote of the CAF’s executive committee in Cairo on Wednesday.

The North African country was a runaway favourite and will see the decision as a boost to their hopes of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain.

It is the second time that Morocco will host Africa’s most popular sporting event, almost four decades after the previous time in 1988.