Egypt mulling a late bid to host 2019 Nations Cup

Ahram Online , Thursday 13 Dec 2018,
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Egypt
Egyptian soccer players display their trophy after defeating Ivory Coast in a penalty shoot out at the African Nations Cup final soccer match in Cairo, Egypt, February 10, 2006. Egypt won 4-2. (Reuters)

Egypt may consider making a bid to host next year's African Cup of Nations, sports minister Ashraf Sobhi said on Wednesday.

Last month, the CAF stripped Cameroon of the rights to host the Nations Cup, citing delays in its preparations for the expanded 24-team tournament.

Reports suggested that Morocco was favourite to replace Cameroon but its sports minister denied on Wednesday that the North African country had any intention to bid for the biennial tournament's hosting rights.

South Africa is also mooted as a possible suitor but Sobhi hinted that Egypt might also be interested.

"We are waiting for the (Egyptian Football Association chief) Hani Abou-Reida to contact CAF's president tomorrow to discuss the matter," he said in a phone interview with OnSport channel.

"Egypt is capable of hosting this event; the country staged many international tournaments before."

An Egyptian FA board member said earlier this month that the country would support any Arab bid but that it was ready to "step in if there were any problems," without elaborating further.

Egypt hosted the tournament four times in 1959,1974, 1986 and 2006. The national team won it a record seven times.

Morocco and South Africa staged the Nations Cup once in 1988 and 1996 respectively.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

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