Egypt Named Hosts for 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, Replaces Cameroon

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2019

Egypts forward Mohamed Salah (C) greets fans after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier football match between Egypt and Niger on September 8, 2018 at the Borg el-Arab stadium near the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. (Photo by Khaled DESOUKI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt have been announced as the hosts for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The decision was confirmed on Tuesday, with Egypt beating South Africa in the CAF vote, per Ernest Makhaya of Goal.

B/R Football @brfootball

OFFICIAL: The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will be held in Egypt 🇪🇬 https://t.co/2Hq88PxvdX

Cameroon were initially awarded the right to host the event, but they were deemed not to be ready for it late last year and were stripped of the honour.

The 2019 AFCON will be the 32nd edition of the international tournament and the first to involve 24 teams after it was expanded from 16. It will run from June 15 to July 13 this year.

Egypt will be hosting for the fifth time in 2019, and the team have an impressive record of going on to win the competition when they are the home nation:

Oluwashina Okeleji @oluwashina

AFCON 2019 decision: between North (Egypt🇪🇬) & South (RSA🇿🇦) Why are we here? Caf stripped #Cameroon of hosting event. #Egypt hosted & won in 1959, 1986 & 2006. #SouthAfrica hosted & won in 1996, without then defending champions #Nigeria😝. RSA hosted & #Nigeria won in 2013. https://t.co/ULpp4KQnvK

The Pharaohs are the most successful nation in the tournament's history, having claimed seven titles overall, and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah will be key to their chances of winning an eighth in 2019.

The 26-year-old was rushed back from injury to turn out for Egypt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup last summer, but he failed to make any real impact as they lost all their group-stage matches.

Organisers and fans alike will be keeping a close eye on Salah's fitness in the second half of the 2018-19 club season, as they will be desperate to have him on top form for the 2019 AFCON.

Cameroon are the current AFCON holders after they beat Egypt 2-1 in the 2017 final in Gabon. The Indomitable Lions have yet to ensure qualification for the 2019 tournament, but they can do so if they beat Comoros in March.

The 2019 tournament is the third straight AFCON that has changed hosts, with the previous two being moved from Morocco and Libya to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, respectively.