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Host with the most
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 28 - 09 - 2017

Following the withdrawal of Zambia as host country of the 2019 Under-23 Africa Cup of Nations, a new call for applicants was made. The door opened from 26 July to 31 August. Egypt was designated the new host because it was the only country that provided a complete dossier on time.
The decision was taken on Saturday at the CAF Executive Committee meetings held under the chairmanship of CAF President Ahmad Ahmad in Accra, Ghana, on the sidelines of the 2017 West African Africa Cup of Nations.
“We presented our bid during the CAF symposium, General Assembly meetings and CAF Executive Committee meetings which were held in Morocco in July. Now, we have been named the host nation and we are glad,” said Ahmed Megahed, board member of the Egyptian Football Association (EFA).
“This is a big event because it is going to be a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Having the competition being held at home is such a great advantage for Egypt and could increase its chances of qualifying for the Olympic Games,” Megahed added.
Megahed also told Al-Ahram Weekly that the tournament is expected to take place “between October and November 2018”.
The Executive Committee deliberated on some 20 items on the agenda. With an overwhelming majority of the members present, it was decided to withdraw the hosting rights of the 2018 CAF Championship of African Nations (CHAN) from Kenya in the light of accumulated delays following reports of the various inspection missions conducted in the country, the last of which took place from 11 to 17 September 2017.
The CAF acting general secretary has been instructed to immediately open a bidding process for a new host. The deadline for receipt of applications is seven days from Sunday 24 September. The identity of the bidding countries will be disclosed within a maximum 15 days of the opening of the bidding process.
Reports have it that Morocco is one of the bidding nations expected to host the event and it has a good opportunity to win the bid, being one of the nations who has all the facilities and previous successful experience in hosting African and international events. Interestingly, if Morocco was awarded to host the CHAN, then Egypt would automatically qualify for the event.
“We lost the decisive qualifying match to Morocco two months ago. But if Morocco became the host nation, then there is a possibility we qualify to the final tournament,” head coach of the Egyptian team Hamada Sedki told the Weekly.
Regarding the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in 2019, a meeting of the Organising Committee will be convened as soon as possible to elaborate the terms of reference for the call for tenders to be opened for the selection of an audit firm to carry out an inspection mission of infrastructure to host the tournament.
For the Women's Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana 2018, the format and schedule of the qualifiers were approved, and the draw also conducted. A first inspection mission is to be conducted in Ghana by the end of 2017.
In the absence of applications submitted on time, it was decided by the Executive Committee to re-open the bidding process for the 2020 Women's Africa Cup of Nations.
The Executive Committee also decided regarding the interclub competitions to postpone deliberations on the transition of the competition from February-November to August-May. According to the CAF official website, the matter will be examined by the Interclub Committee, which is now fully constituted, before forwarding their recommendations to the Executive Committee.
Importantly, the Executive Committee has welcomed Morocco's candidature for the FIFA World Cup and is proud that an African country has applied for the hosting of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, the first to be played with 48 teams.
Morocco is also holding a FIFA symposium on women's football. Accordingly, an organising committee is to work on the success of the event planned to be held in the first quarter of 2018. The committee is composed of six members: Isha Johansen (Sierra Leone), Lydia Nsekera (Burundi), Nawal Al-Moutawakkel (Morocco), Meskerem Tadesse (Ethiopia), Patricia Rajearison (Madagascar) and Alhaja Ayo Omidiran (Nigeria).


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