Egypt will host the 2019 African Nations Cup finals (Photo: Reuters)
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) decided early Sunday to delay the launch date of the 2019 African Cup of Nations to start 21 June instead of 14 June, Egyptian Football Association (EFA) Vice President Ahmed Shobir announced.
"A number of North African countries asked the CAF to delay the opening of the tournament for one week because of fasting in Ramadan as well as celebrating Eid Al-Fitr," Shobir said on his private television sports programme.
"CAF agreed with the countries' request and the tournament will start 21 June instead of 14 June, and it will be finished on 19 July 2019," Shobir added.
In November, CAF stripped original host Cameroon of its duties, citing delays in its preparations for the expanded 24-team tournament.
Meanwhile, Egypt made a bid to host the AFCON after Morocco, which was reportedly eager to host the tournament, announced it would not make a bid.
Egypt went on to win the vote in CAF’s executive committee to host the competition. Egypt obtained 16 out of 18 votes, with only one vote going to rival South Africa, while the remaining voting country abstained.
The opening match, which will feature the Pharaohs, is scheduled to take place in the 74,100-seat Cairo Stadium.
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