Morocco decide against 2019 Africa Cup of Nations bid
Morocco will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the country’s sports minister said.
The North African nation had been tipped as a replacement for Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights last month due to poor preparations.
“Morocco did not intend to run for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so,” Minister of Youth and Sport Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.
Interested parties have until 2200 GMT on Friday to make an official bid.
In June this year, Morocco failed with a fifth bid to host the World Cup – after losing out to a triple bid Canada, Mexico and the United States.
The following month, Morocco did step in to host the 2019 African Games – formerly known as the All Africa Games – after original hosts Equatorial Guinea withdrew due to financial concerns.
This was a twist on a story concerning the 2015 Nations Cup which Morocco had been due to host but which ended up being staged in Equatorial Guinea after the North Africans requested a postponement because of concerns over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Morocco – which had been widely tipped to step in to host next year’s Nations Cup – has only ever hosted Africa’s flagship football tournament once, back in 1988.
The 2019 finals will be the first to feature 24 teams, rather than 16, and be held in June/July, as opposed to its traditional January/February slot.