The Confederation of African Football (CAF) is set to announce the host nations for the 2025, 2027, and 2029 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals this week.
The unveiling of the host nations for the next three editions of the prestigious tournament will occur following a CAF Executive Committee meeting scheduled for today in Cairo.
These announcements have been highly anticipated for nearly a year, beginning with CAF’s decision to revoke Guinea’s hosting rights for the 2025 finals in October 2022.
CAF then revealed plans to designate the hosts for the 2027 and the 2029 finals simultaneously.
According to grapevine sources, Morocco will be awarded the hosting rights of the 2025 edition, Senegal will win that of 2027, and a Nigeria and Benin joint bid will get the 2029 hosting rights.
The decision to strip Guinea of the 2025 tournament stemmed from CAF’s assessment that the nation was significantly behind in its preparations for the 24-team tournament.
Subsequently, CAF initiated a process to reopen the bidding, with plans to make a selection early in 2023.
However, the final decision has been repeatedly postponed.
Bids were submitted for the 2025 finals by Algeria, Morocco, Zambia, and a joint bid from Benin and Nigeria.
For the 2027 AFCON, bids came from Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, and a collaborative candidacy from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
CAF conducted thorough evaluations, including sending assessment teams to all bidding countries and appointing an independent assessor to oversee the inspections.
Nevertheless, the ultimate decision on the hosts rests with the CAF Executive Committee.
The history of hosting the Africa Cup of Nations in the past decade has seen various challenges and shifts, including South Africa stepping in to replace war-torn Libya in 2013.
Cameroon’s readiness for the 2019 finals was questioned, leading to Egypt hosting the tournament. Cameroon successfully hosted the 2021 edition, delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cote d’Ivoire was initially set to host the 2023 AFCON but was postponed by six months due to concerns about the rainy season in West Africa.