The upcoming Total African Cup of Nations, AFCON, will be hosted by Egypt, the Confederation of African Football, CAF; announced on Tuesday after a high level meeting.
The race was between Egypt and South Africa.
The two countries submitted candidacies late last year after CAF stripped Cameroon of the hosting rights.
Cameroon was stripped of the rights because of their inability to put together infrastructure in time and also due to security threats in parts of the country.
CAF Executive Committee members were initially set to vote in Dakar on Wednesday but opted to do so 24 hours earlier and hours to the 2018 CAF Awards also taking place in the Senegalese capital today, January 8.
South Africa has extensive infrastructure built when they hosted the first World Cup in Africa in 2010. Watchers however expressed reservations about the low South African patronage of other teams.
Egypt also has extensive football facilities, although in recent years attendances at local matches have been restricted because of security concerns in the wake of the Arab Spring revolution and Tahir Square demonstrations.
Morocco had been the favourite to step in after repeatedly promising to do so if needed but then surprisingly said it was not interested once Cameroon was stripped of hosting rights.
It is the first time the tournament will be played mid-year away from the traditional January – February date. It will last between June 15 to July 13, 2019. It will also be the first time there will be 24 participating teams.
CAF President Ahmad has congratulated Egyptian Mohamed Salah on his decoration as Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year for the 2017/18 season.
Salah was crowned at the awards night on Sunday, 22 April 2018, in London, becoming the first African-born player to win the honour.
The 25-year old has had a stellar season with English giants, Liverpool, breaking new grounds since joining in June 2017. A key cog in the Liverpool squad, Salah has scored 41 goals in all competitions thus far, and is also the first African to score more than 30 goals in a season in the English top flight.
“Salah has really made Africa proud. As the reigning African Player of the Year, he has proven that African players have the ability to rub shoulders with the best in the world. The African football family is proud of Salah’s achievement as a true son of the soil.
“His unrivalled commitment to both club and country makes him a role model to the youth across the continent and beyond. We wish him the best in his future endeavours,” Ahmad said.
With four matches to spare, the Egyptian is also the frontrunner for the top scorer prize in the Premier League, having netted 31 goals.
Contenders for the 2017 Confederation of African Football (CAF) awards, which will be presented at a ceremony in Ghana today.
Player of the Year
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (GAB, Borussia Dortmund/GER)
Sadio Mane (SEN, Liverpool/ENG) Mohamed Salah (EGY, Liverpool)
Women’s Player of the Year
Chrestina Kgatlana (RSA, UWC Ladies)
Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene (CMR, CSKA Moscow/RUS)
Asisat Oshoala (NGR, Dalian Quanjian/CHN)
Youth Player of the Year
Patson Daka (ZAM, Liefering/AUT)
Krepin Diatta (SEN, Sarpsborg/ NOR)
Salam Giddou (MLI, Guidars)
Coach of the Year
Hussein Amoutta (Wydad Casablanca/MAR)
Hector Cuper (EGY) Gernot Rohr (NGR)
Club of the Year
Al Ahly (EGY)
TP Mazembe (COD)
Wydad Casablanca (MOR)
National Team of the Year
Women’s National Team of the Year