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Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Egypt's success in hosting 2006 African Cup helped secure 2019 edition: EFA president

Ahmed Abd El Rasoul , Tuesday 8 Jan 2019
Hani Abuo Rida
File Photo: Hani Abuo Rida (Photo: EFA)
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Organising a successful edition of the African Cup of Nation in 2006 helped Egypt win the hosting rights of this year's tournament on Tuesday, according Egyptian Football Association (EFA) chairman Hani Abo-Rida.

Egypt has been granted the hosting rights of the 2019 African Cup of Nations after winning a majority of votes in Tuesday's meeting of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

"After Cameroon's withdrawal, we had a short period to prepare our bid, but the cooperative effort from all Egyptian sides has led to that success," Abo-Rida told Bein Sports TV channel after the announcement.

Egypt obtained 16 out of 18 votes, with only one vote going to sole rival South Africa, while the remaining voting country abstained.

"We hope that we will be ready for this big responsibility as time is limited ahead of the tournament’s start, but Egypt wanted to host this event anyway," Abo-Rida, a member of the FIFA Council, said.

"The success of Egypt's bid doesn't mean that South Africa’s wasn't strong, but close distances and other factors ensured Egypt’s success," he added.

Last December, Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations due to both serious delays in its preparations for the cup and the persistence of a violent separatist uprising near two of the planned venues.

Following the decision to strip the West African nation of the right to host, CAF opened a new bidding process.

Egypt and South Africa were the only two countries to submit their candidacy to become 2019 host.

The 2019 AFCON is scheduled to take place from 15 June to 13 July, having been moved from January/February to avoid club-versus-country clashes.

A previous success in 2006

Egypt has already hosted four editions of the cup: in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006. The Pharaohs won the title at home in 2006; beating Ivory Coast in the final.

South Africa organised the 2013 edition.

"The success of hosting the 2006 edition puts more burdens on our shoulders. That edition scored a huge success on the marketing level; a step that was a starting point for the next editions.

"I would like to thank my colleagues in the executive committee for their confidence in Egypt and in me," he concluded.

The Pharaohs have won the prestigious competition seven times.

This year’s edition has seen major innovations, with the tournament expanded to 24 teams up from 16, and moved to a summer schedule instead of its former January-February calendar. 

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