CAF announce 2019 AFCON dates as Egypt's historic Sphinx, pyramids to witness the draw

Mahmoud Elassal , Monday 28 Jan 2019,
Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Ahmad Ahmad delivers a speech during the 40th CAF ordinary general assembly on February 2, 2018 in the Moroccan city of Casablanca (Photo: AFP)

The Confederation of African Football have announced that the 2019 African Cup of Nations will start on 21 June and end on 13 July.

The draw will be held at the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx on 12 April.

Egypt will host AFCON 2019 after original host Cameroon was stripped of its duties due to delays in its preparations for the expanded 24-team tournament.

The biennial tournament was initially scheduled to start on Saturday 15 June, but hosts Egypt submitted a request to the CAF to bring forward the date of the opening African Nations Cup game by one day to guarantee a bigger fan attendance, as Friday is an official day off in Egypt.

"We want the opening match to be held on a Friday [14 June] to guarantee a bigger fan attendance," Egyptian Football Association (EFA) official Ahmed Megahed said.

CAF announced the final dates of the opening of the tournament after a number of North African countries asked to delay its start by one week because of fasting in Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

"CAF agreed with the countries' request and the tournament will start on 21 June instead of 14 June, and it will finish on 19 July," EFA's Vice President Ahmed Shobir said.

The opening match, which will feature the Pharaohs, is scheduled to take place at the 74,100-seat Cairo Stadium.

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