Egypt requests June 14 start for Africa Cup of Nations

The Egyptian Football Federation (EFF) has officially requested starting the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 on June 14 instead of June 15.

The EFF sent an official letter to CAF to request setting the tournament one day earlier.

The EFF wants to set the tournament 24 hours earlier to ensure the attendance of the largest number of audience during the opening ceremony, as June 14 will be a Friday, the official weekly holiday in Egypt.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced earlier in January that Egypt won the bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which was withdrawn from Cameroon earlier.

CAF had withdrawn the tournament from Cameroon last November because of the delay in the completion of infrastructure and sports facilities, in addition to concerns about the security situation.

Morocco was the next candidate for the tournament, but Morocco’s Minister of Youth and Sports Rachid Talbi Alami stressed that his country did not intend to apply to organize the tournament.

Accordingly, Egypt and South Africa submitted requests to host the tournament, which will include the participation of 24 national teams for the first time in its history. CAF seconded Egypt.

The tournament is scheduled to run from June 15 to July 13.

Egypt will be organizing the Africa Cup of Nations for the fifth time, as it hosted the tournament in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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