Morocco to host 2025 Africa Cup of Nations

North African nation to hold tournament for the second time in its history

Morocco players prior to their Africa Cup of Nations 2021 quarter-final against Egypt. AFP
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Morocco were declared as hosts of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations finals on Wednesday.

The north African nation replaced Guinea. Morocco won by default after Algeria, Zambia and a joint bid from Benin and Nigeria all withdrew before a vote of the Confederation of African Football's executive committee in Cairo.

Morocco will thus get the chance to host the tournament for the second time almost four decades after the last time in 1988.

Fans in the country will also see the decision as a boost to their hopes of co-hosting the 2030 Fifa World Cup with Portugal and Spain.

Meanwhile, the tournament's 2027 rights were awarded to a co-bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Morocco getting a chance to the host the tournament will also boost the morale of the country after it was devastated by a 6.8-magnitude earthquake in September that killed nearly 3,000 people and displaced countless more.

The country plans to spend $11.7 billion in a post-earthquake reconstruction programme over the next five years.

Morocco boasts many world-class stadiums and has successfully hosted numerous African and world tournaments.

But Kenya and Tanzania have only one international-standard venue each and Uganda none, which forced their national team to play 2023 Cup of Nations qualifiers at neutral venues.

Bringing the tournament to east Africa is in line of the views of CAF president Patrice Motsepe who had stated that he did not want successive tournaments in the same region.

"We cannot assign the organisation of the CAN successively to the same region," he said at a press conference before the African Nations Championship in Algeria last January.

Updated: September 27, 2023, 12:36 PM