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Beating South Africa in bid to host African Cup gives Egypt confidence: Sports minister
Published in Ahram Online on 08 - 01 - 2019

Beating South Africa – which hosted the 2010 World Cup – in the bid to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations gives Egypt confidence in its preparations for the prestigious African football tournament, said Egypt's Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhy.
Egypt has been granted the hosting rights of the 2019 African Cup of Nations after winning a majority of votes in Tuesday's meeting of the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
"Congratulations to all Egyptians. The sweeping win of the hosting rights of this year's 2019 African Cup reflects Egypt's standing position in Africa," Sobhy told ON Sport TV channel after the announcement.
Egypt obtained 16 out of 18 votes, with only one vote going to sole rival South Africa, while the remaining voting country abstained.
"We prepared the hosting file in a limited time and within just two days we got the approval from the cabinet to launch our bid," the minster explained.
"We have all the facilities to organise a successful tournament.
"The president and the government have offered full support for the bid. Also the football association officials made a huge effort to win the hosting race.
"We will coordinate with the football association to monitor the host stadiums and to take all the needed decisions to get the tournament in the best form," he concluded.
Last December, Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations due to both serious delays in its preparations for the cup and the persistence of a violent separatist uprising near two of the planned venues.
Following the decision to strip the West African nation of the right to host, CAF opened a new bidding process.
Egypt and South Africa were the only two countries to submit their candidacy to become 2019 host.
The 2019 AFCON is scheduled to take place from 15 June to 13 July, having been moved from January/February to avoid club-versus-country clashes.
Egypt has already hosted four editions of the cup: in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006.
South Africa organised the 2013 edition.
The Pharaohs have won the prestigious competition seven times.
This year's edition has seen major innovations, with the tournament expanded to 24 teams up from 16, and moved to a summer schedule instead of its former January-February calendar.
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