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Morocco, Algeria set to host Cup of Nations tournaments

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Morocco and Algeria are favoured to be named hosts of the 2025 and 2027 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments respectively, with an announcement to be made in Cairo today.

Both are seeking to stage the 2025 edition of the premier African sport event, along with Zambia and a joint Nigeria-Benin bid.

Algeria also entered the 2027 contest, as did Botswana, Egypt, Senegal and a combined Kenya-Tanzania-Uganda challenge.

After a number of deadlines passed without the hosts being revealed, a senior African Football Confederation (CAF) official told AFP “the two hosts will definitely be named on September 27”.

Executive committee members will vote after studying independent appraisals of each 2025 and 2027 candidate, but politics and a promise of regional rotation have complicated matters.

North African neighbours Algeria and Morocco have an adversarial political relationship, which entered the football arena this year.

A ban on Moroccan aircraft flying over Algeria led to the withdrawal of the team representing the kingdom from the 2022/2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) for home-based players.

Morocco had won the previous two editions and when their request to fly directly to Algeria was denied, they boycotted the tournament, robbing it of one of the title favourites.

Both countries boast superb stadia and infrastructure and football-loving populations, and are capable of delivering world-class Cup of Nations tournaments. But both would like to be the 2025 hosts with leading Moroccan and CAF official Fouzi Lekjaa causing a mid-year stir when he told local politicians that the kingdom would be chosen.

Domestic media quoted him saying “the Fes stadium will have the honour of hosting CAN (Cup of Nations) 2025 matches when Morocco wins the organisation”.

Morocco players celebrating during the FIFA World Cup last year. PHOTO: XINHUA