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Egypt beats South Africa to earn right to host 2019 African Cup of Nations

Storyline:National News, Sports, World

Seven-time champions Egypt will host this year’s African Cup of Nations.

Egypt, the most successful country in the tournament’s history, beat South Africa — the only other nation to submit a formal bid — by 16 votes to one at the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) Executive Committee on Tuesday.

The country has just six months to prepare for the 24-team tournament after Cameroon, the original host nation, was in November stripped of the right to hold the event because of slow preparations.

The Cup of Nations will take place from June 15 to July 13 and Egypt is hosting the competition for a fifth time, having also done so in 1957, 1974, 1986 and 2006.

Cameroon has been offered the chance to stage the finals in two years’ time, meaning the original hosts for 2021 and 2023 have been asked to delay their tournaments.

While Guinea has agreed to move its staging of the event from 2023 to 2025, Ivory Coast — which was set to host in 2021 — has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

There could be double the celebrations for Egypt as forward Mo Salah is favourite to retain his CAF Player of the Year Award at the CAF Awards, which will take place Tuesday in Dakar, Senegal.