Egypt's Ministry of Tourism, represented by the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority, signed a contract with the African Football Confederation (CAF) to be the official regional sponsor of the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), scheduled to be played in Egypt from 21 June to 19 July.
In a statement issued Thursday, the ministry said the sponsorship agreement comes in the context of its keenness to exploit the major events of AFCON for marketing Egypt internationally.
Minister of Tourism Ranya Al-Mashat highlighted the importance of hosting regional sporting event on Egypt's soil. "Major sports tournaments, such as the African Cup of Nations, attract millions of football fans and spectators from everywhere," she said.
Given that the last time Egypt hosted the tournament was in 2006, this year's AFCON, Al-Mashat says, reflects the return of confidence in the Egyptian state to host and organise major events.
Hosting the 2019 continental tournament comes during Egypt's presidency of the African Union (AU).
Al-Mashat added that the ministry is sparing no effort to make the most of international sporting events, putting the name of Egypt in major stadiums.
"Our presence in stadiums and the exploitation of the world's stars are a great propaganda for Egypt," she said, referring to the publicity campaign of the ministry during the FIFA 2018 World Cup, where Egypt was officially the regional sponsor of Africa.
According to the protocol signed recently, the ministry has the rights to use the pictures and video of the national teams' players while visiting tourist and archaeological sites on the ministry's various promotion platforms. Al-Mashat said that this will have a great impact on publicity about Egypt.
"The tournament is attended by 24 African teams. We wish success to all, and we hope the Egyptian team get the cup for the eighth time," the minister said.
Al-Mashat also wished all participating teams a happy stay.