The Egyptian Youth and Sports Minister, Ashraf Sobhy has expressed optimism about his country’s preparations to host
the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
He said preparations toward hosting the tournament were ongoing, adding that
Egypt would be ready by the middle of May for the championship.
The Egyptian Youth and Sports minister said this here in the capital Cairo, last Thursday when addressing journalists at the 53rd African Journalists training which is being organised by the Union of African Journalists (UAJ) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information.
Mr Sobhy said six stadiums in Cairo, Alexandria, Air Force, Ismalia , Suez and Port Said were currently under renovation and would be completed before June.
According to him, the renovation also included the creation of new lanes to the stadia in a bid to ease traffic and also equip them with security rooms.
Mr Sobhy indicated that renovation works on the six stadia has become needful
due to the 2011 Egyptian Revolution which plagued the country’s football with
He said the AFCON 2019 which is due to run from June 21 to July 19 would be the first to feature 24 teams since the decision to increase the number of participating countries from 16.
Egypt received the nod to host the tournament after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon of hosting rights due
to delays in the delivery of infrastructure, Boko Haram insurgency and the
On January 8, 2019, Egypt was chosen by the CAF Executive Committee to host
the competition, making it the fifth time the country was hosting it.
FROM BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY, CAIRO