AFCON 2025: The race to host the tournament is picking up steam
source: StadiumDB.com; author: Mateusz Osmola
After Guinea was stripped of its rights to host the AFCON in 2025, the African Football Confederation (CAF) had to restart procedures to select a host. As many as seven countries declared official interest in hosting the event. On December 16, the nations submitted their final bid.
The World Cup in Qatar is over. After the group stage, three African countries - Ghana, Tunisia and Cameroon - said goodbye to the tournament. Senegal and Morocco, however, managed to advance to the round of 16. The former were outclassed by the English, but the Atlas Lions caused a sensation by eliminating favoured Spain from the competition and remained in the tournament. After that they faced Portugal in the quarter-finals at one of the most impressive venues from all of the World Cup 2022 stadiums - Al Thumama Stadium in Doha.
Morocco once again prevailed and advanced to the semis, where they lost to France. Although they failed to bring home a medal from the tournament, after a loss in the third place play-off against Croatia, Morocco finally earned a record 4th place, which was also the best result from all African or Arab nations. In the meantime, the race to host the Africa Cup of Nations in 2025 is gaining momentum.
Let us recall that the African Football Confederation (CAF) issued a statement on October 1 saying that Guinea's infrastructure and facilities were "not ready" to host the competition. Such a decision, although announced three months ago, was already made in June. The extension of the tournament to 24 teams in 2019 meant that Guinea's poor infrastructure was problematic from the start and nobody was surprised by the confederation's decision.
CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, visited the country at the time to discuss the possibility of Guinea bidding to host other tournaments with neighbouring states. He declared to the federation there his readiness to advise and cooperate on building infrastructure and football facilities in the country. This will enable Guinea to bid to host the African Nations Championship (CHAN), which will take place after a tournament of its kind in 2023, hosted by Algeria. CHAN is a championship played every second year in which participating national teams must be created from players performing in their national league competitions.
CAF has provided a timetable for the selection of a new host for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations. November 11, 2022, was the deadline for candidates to submit their declarations of interest. By November 16 2022, the confederation had to send out the necessary documents related to the bid to host the cup to the countries that had declared an interest. December 16, 2022, was the deadline for the federations to submit its final proposal, including all bidding and host-related documents (organising agreement, host city agreement, government guarantees). Follow-up visits are due to take place in January, and on February 10 the CAF Executive Committee will finally select the tournament holder.
Morocco, Algeria, Senegal, Nigeria with Benin, South Africa and Zambia have declared their willingness to host Africa's best footballers. The first two countries are seen as favourites. The Moroccan bid seems to have a good chance of success, as the country has a well-developed sporting infrastructure and considerable ambition, however, it applied for the 2026 World Cup in the past and wants to host the tournament in 2030. Their proposal includes the use of six venues including Casablanca’s Stade Mohammed V, Rabat’s Stade Moulay Abdallah, Stade de Marrakech, Agadir’s Stade Adrar, Grand Stade de Tanger, and Complexe Sportif de Fès.
The last Nations Cup was held in Cameroon in January and February 2022. The tournament was originally scheduled to take place last year, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Earlier in 2022, CAF announced that the 2023 Nations Cup in Côte d'Ivoire would be postponed to January and February 2024 due to the country's rainy season occurring during the summer.