Morocco to host 2025 AFCON, East African co-bid awarded 2027

Morocco were awarded the hosting of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Wednesday, replacing Guinea who were stripped of the right to host the tournament last year, while the 2027 rights were handed to a co-bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Morocco won by default after Algeria, Zambia and a joint bid from Benin and Nigeria all withdrew before the vote of the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee in Cairo on Wednesday.

The north African country was a runaway favourite and will see the decision as a boost to their hopes of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain.

It is only the second time that Morocco will host Africa’s most popular sporting event, almost four decades after the previous time in 1988.

The joint East African bid for 2027 returns the finals to the region for the first time since 1976.

They beat Botswana, Egypt and Senegal in a vote of the CAF executive committee. Algeria were also a candidate but withdrew on Tuesday.

Antony has returned to the UK and will meet Greater Manchester Police (GMP) as part of their investigation into accusations of abusive behaviour made against the Manchester United winger, a source has told ESPN.

Antony flew back to Manchester from Sao Paulo on Tuesday. The 23-year-old has been in Brazil since reporting for national team duty following United’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Sept. 3, although he was later withdrawn from the squad by the Brazil Football Confederation (CBF).

Antony and United announced on Sept. 10 they had agreed a leave of absence to allow the winger to “address the allegations” made against him by three women, including former partner Gabriela Cavallin.

Antony has not played for United since the game at the Emirates, and there is no timetable for his return to the squad.

A source has told ESPN he is willing to hand over his phone to GMP in a bid to prove his innocence. United say they are taking the allegations seriously.

Investigations are ongoing in Brazil and in Manchester. Police in Brazil raised no objection to the former Ajax forward travelling to the UK.

Antony has not been charged with an offence and has strenuously denied the claims.

In a statement previously posted on social media, Antony said: “I can calmly state that the accusations are false and that the evidence already produced and the other evidence that will be produced demonstrate that I am innocent of the accusations made.”

Hard Task Lies Ahead, CAF Tells East Africa

President William Ruto has promised that the government will pull out all the stops in readiness for the 2027 Africa Cup of Nations after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) voted for the East Africa’s Pamoja Bid presented by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

Speaking moments after the joint bid sailed through following a vote by members of the Executive Committee of CAF in Cairo on Wednesday, President Ruto affirmed that his government would mobilize resources to ensure that the facilities are ready.

“Many people never believed that we had a chance of hosting AFCON in 2027 because of the state of our football and our sports in general,” the President said.

“We are very proud of this achievement. We will mobilize resources; we will mobilize every person and every sector to make sure that we deliver a world-class football event in 2027.”

CAF president Patrice Motsepe however warned the hard task lies ahead for the hosts in the race to ensure the infrastructure was ready for the event.

“We will be sending teams to form an evaluation of the progress that has been made. Because the key is we are absolutely determined to maintain the highest possible standards.”

Kenya is no stranger to being awarded hosting rights after being given the nod to host the 1996 edition of AFCON but was later stripped of the privilege due to her stadia not meeting international standards.

CAF also stripped Kenya of the rights to host the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) owing to lack of enough facilities.

In a press release, Former FKF President Sam Nyamweya urged the government to learn from the past to avoid losing the opportunity again.

“As a country we must now take stock of the reasons we failed to host the competition in 1996 when we first won the bid and the 2016 CHAN. We should not make the same mistake we did in the past when the rights were taken away due to our failures.

“The governments of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania must now work hard to ensure the right infrastructure is put in place within the timelines given by CAF. Given it is a joint bid, the three countries must set up joint working committees and walk together to the end.It will be a shame if we fail one more time.”

His sentiments were echoed by former international Sammy ‘Kempes’ Owino, who is one of the candidates eyeing the FKF top seat.

“There is a lot of work to be done to make this opportunity a success, but the by-product of infrastructure improvement that stems from hosting the tournament will go a long way in helping Kenya football for many years to come.

“After the successful bid it is now a race against time to complete the renovations projects of Kasarani and Nyayo stadiums to meet the international football federation’s standard.”

The government has already announced the closure of Kasarani, Nyayo and Kip Keino stadiums for renovations in the race to host the 24-nations biennial tournament.

Credit: Source link