Egypt narrowly beat South Africa to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON 2019), according to a statement released Tuesday by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

CAF Executive Members were expected to vote Wednesday in Dakar but opted to so a fully 24 hours earlier.

The vote was expected to hold in the margins of the CAF Awards hosted by Dakar.

Cameroon was stripped of hosting rights after the central African country failed to meet deadlines for completing key infrastructure. CAF did not specifically mention insecurity as part of the reason for the withdrawal of hosting rights, but most observers believe that insecurity was a key factor.

Morocco which had initially said it would like to host failed to put in a bid once Cameroon was stripped of hosting rights.

This year’s tournament – to be held June 15 through July 13 – will be the first to host 24 countries; up from 16 during the last edition four years ago and three times more than much smaller editions which hosted eight countries.

CAF President Ahmad Ahmad said Sunday that Guinea had agreed to host the 2025 edition of the tournament.

Ahmad Ahmad made the announcement in Guinea during a visit to the West African nation in the company of FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

The hosting calendar – just before Cameroon was stripped – was supposed to be Cameroon (2019), Cote d’Ivoire (2021), Guinea (2023).

Stepping back two years to host in 2025 could make room for CAF to offer 2023 to Cote d’Ivoire and help rehabilitate Cameroon’s honor by granting them hosting rights for the 2021 edition.

Cote d’Ivoire has lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a decision by CAF to move the tournament in that country to 2023.

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