On Wednesday, Morocco was officially named as the host of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals, taking over from Guinea, which had been stripped of hosting rights last year.
Additionally, the rights for the 2027 tournament were awarded to a joint bid from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Morocco’s selection as the host for the 2025 AFCON came after Algeria, Zambia, and a joint bid from Benin and Nigeria withdrew from contention before the vote by the Confederation of African Football’s executive committee in Cairo. Morocco was widely expected to secure the hosting rights, which may boost its aspirations to co-host the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain.
The joint East African bid for the 2027 AFCON was a surprise winner, marking the return of the finals to the region for the first time since 1976. The bid surpassed competitors Botswana, Egypt, and Senegal. Algeria had also been a candidate but withdrew a day before the vote.
Notably, Kenya had previously been granted hosting rights for the 1996 AFCON but lost the opportunity due to inadequate preparations. The country recently had a FIFA ban, resulting from government interference in the administration of its football federation, lifted.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe emphasized the importance of spreading the tournament across different regions to contribute to the development of football. The 2025 finals will mark the second time Morocco has hosted the popular sporting event, with the last occasion being in 1988, almost four decades earlier.