DAKAR, Senegal – Egypt will host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations between June 15 and July 13, Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad Ahmad announced in Dakar on Tuesday.
The CAF executive committee preferred Egypt to South Africa as replacements for original hosts Cameroon, who were dropped due to delays in preparations and concerns over security.
South African football officials said the 16-1 vote in favour of Egypt in Senegal Tuesday was “political” without offering insight.
It will be the fifth time Egypt stage the biennial showpiece of AfricanSo football after 1959 – when the country was called the United Arab Republic – 1974, 1986 and 2006.
Egypt only entered the running to host the Cup of Nations when fellow north African country Morocco announced they would not bid to do so.
Morocco were the hot media favourites to replace Cameroon as hosts and Egypt said they “did not want to compete against a fellow Arab nation”.
Acting South African Football Association chief executive Russell Paul said: “Technically, there is no country in Africa better suited to host the Cup of Nations than South Africa.
“We do not have a fight with Egypt, we have a fight with the way the process unfolded,” he added, referring to the vote being brought forward 24 hours without an explanation.
“A delegation had been prepared for a Wednesday presentation only to find that the Egyptians had been there for a while, with government representatives, ready to present their case.”
Ahmad said the two candidates had equally good infrastructure and the greater political enthusiasm of Egypt was the key factor.
“Our audit firm said the infrastructure was equal so we assessed the political commitment in the two countries and Egypt came out on top.
“Members of the (CAF) executive committee did not feel any real support from the South African government to carry the project forward.”
Egypt boast many international-standard venues with the Cairo International Stadium (72,000) and Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria (87,000) boasting the largest capacities.