OFFICIAL: Morocco Wins BID To Host The 2025 AFCON, While Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania To Co-host The 2027 Tournament.

Morocco have been officially awarded the hosting rights of the 35th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finals (AFCON) in 2025, the African football's governing body confirmed on Wednesday.

Morocco replaces Guinea, who were stripped of the tournament in October last year because of concerns about infrastructure and facilities.

The tournament in Morocco will reportedly be the biggest AFCON in history, as the organization will be top-notch having been the new leaders of world-class sports facilities in Africa.

Zambia and a joint Nigeria-Benin Republic bid were reportedly also in the running for 2025. But they agreed to withdraw in order to allow Morocco to prove its worth in the hope it will increase the chances of Africa hosting the World Cup in 2030.

The North African country won by default, as they garnered 22 votes against none for Nigeria and Algeria which was voted by the Confederation of African Football's executive committee in Cairo, Egypt.

Morocco were a runaway favourite and will see the decision as a boost to their hopes of co-hosting the joint bid for the 2030 World Cup with Spain and Portugal.

This will be only the second time that Morocco will host Africa's most popular sporting event, almost four decades after the first time in 1988.

Morocco proposed six cities to host each of the groups at the 24-team AFCON 2025 which are; Agadir, Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, Rabat and Tangier. 

CAF President Patrice Motsepe also announced that a joint East African bid from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania has also won the rights to host the 2027 AFCON tournament.

The 36th edition in 2027, will be the first time that nations from the East and Central Africa Football region will be hosting the AFCON tournament since Ethiopia in 1976.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania's selection, beat Botswana, Egypt and Senegal in a vote of the CAF executive committee.

Motsepe said that all of the options to host both the 2025 and 2027 tournaments would have made Africa "proud".

He added the decisions had been based on the level of infrastructure made available by bids, including facilities, accommodation and hospitals.

"The decision that was taken today was to focus on African unity, development and growth, in the context of those countries withdrawing," Motsepe said of Morocco's success, which also came after Algeria withdrew on the eve of the vote.

"A huge amount of money is being spent on Morocco for 2025. The bid from Morocco to host the World Cup is not just for Morocco, but for the whole of Africa."

Speaking on the 2027 tournament, Motsepe, likened expectations for the organisation to those held by European administrative body UEFA and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL); "The three nations came together because our standards and requirements are very high... said Motsepe, 

"Sometimes it requires hundreds of millions - sometimes billions - in infrastructure. It makes me proud when football brings countries together. Afcon 2027 is going to be a huge success."

The next AFCON tournament will take place in Ivory Coast from 13 January until 11 February 2024. The draw will take place in Abidjan on 12 October at 1900 GMT.

This 2023 edition of the tournament was supposed to be the third time taking place in the Northern Hemisphere summer since the 2019 edition to reduce scheduling conflicts with European club teams and competitions.

However, in July 2022 CAF postponed it to 2024 due to the adverse summer weather concerns in Ivory Coast, whilst retaining the name 2023 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship purposes.

This will be the first time in AFCON history, the tournament was forced to be moved twice after the earlier edition.

You may recall that the last edition hosted by Cameroon, was originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021, but CAF moved the tournament's dates for the second time to January 2022 following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent, and unfavorable climatic conditions, whilst retaining the name 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship purposes.

Founded in 1957, the AFCON is Africa's main international football competition, with Egypt being the record holders with seven titles, the last won in 2010.

Senegal are the defending champions as they beat Egypt 4-2 on penalties in the 2021 final held in Cameroon's capital Yaounde. It was Senegal's first-ever AFCON title.

Given the location of both the AFCON 2025 and 2027 respectively, CAF has an opportunity to schedule both tournaments in the June/July period.

Morocco hosted the WAFCON last year in July and the weather was perfect. It is also the dry season in East Africa too in June & July. 

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