Egypt pull out Africa Nations Cup hosting bid 'for Algeria'

Eslam Omar , Monday 23 Feb 2015

Egypt eases the way for Algeria to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations

Egypt won the last of their seven African Cup of Nations titles in 2010 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt has announced it won't bid for hosting the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to instead support Arab neighbours Algeria in their bid.

 "We have decided to withdraw our application and will support that of Algeria," the Egyptian youth and sports minister Khaled Abdel-Aziz announced Monday.

The decision came two weeks following the death of 20 Zamalek supporters after police used teargas to disperse crowds attempting to enter Cairo’s Air Defence stadium ahead of a Premier League match with ENPPI.

The competition has since been suspended and the cabinet was due to decide on the matter last Wednesday though eventually opted to put discussions on the future of the Premier League on hold, focusing on more pressing issues such as the country's airstrikes on Islamic State group in Libya, after 20 Egyptian Christians were beheaded by the militants.

Security issues have been paired with football in the country for the last three years since February 2012 when 72 Ahly fans were killed after being attacked by rivals Masr in Port Said stadium.

Besides Algeria, Gabon and Ghana are also bidding to host the 2017 AFCON that was earlier supposed to be held in security-troubled Libya.

The host will be unveiled by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on 8 April.

Egypt has organised the Cup of Nations four times, winning three of those tournaments in 1959, 1986 and 2006 and finished third in 1974 as hosts.

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