Sunday, September 26, 2010

Morocco to host African Cup of Nations?

Twenty years after hosting the African Cup of Nations, Morocco is leaving no stone unturned to bring the games back to the north African kingdom. They intend to host the games either in 2015 or 2017, reports Afrik-news.
"The Moroccan bid will be officially presented at the next CAF meeting on September 29," said Ali Fassi Fihri, president of the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Football, adding that the north African country stands a good chance of winning the bid to host CAN in 2015 or 2017.

According to Fassi Fihri, Morocco should have six stadiums by 2011 in order to meet the international standards required by the football governing body. Three of the stadiums are already finished (Casablanca, Rabat and Fez). Work on three additional stadiums in Marrakech, Agadir and Tangier, is in the final stages.

Marrakech stadium

An inspection commission is expected to travel to Morocco at the end of November, ahead of the official announcement of the countries selected to host the 2015 and the 2017 games.

Morocco first hosted the African Cup of Nations in 1988, following the withdrawal of Zambia. That year, the Atlas Lions under the direction of their Brazilian coach, Jose Faria, were eliminiated in the semi-final against Cameroon, who went on to win the race.

But analysts believe that Morocco’s bid to host the games in 2015 could be rejected due to the CAN administration’s tendancy to alternate between northern and southern hemisphere countries. The organization of the 2013 event by Libya could therefore throw Morocco’s 2015 ambitions off track.

But while some football analysts say the CAF’s rules are not written in stone, others believe that the host nation for the 2017 games will definitely be Morocco.

Countries selected to host the 2015 and 2017 editions of the African Cup of Nations will be announced at the end of November 2010.

Guinea has also announced its intention to host the competition.

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