Africa Cup of Nations trophy
Monday Jan 14, 2019. 12:00
Egypt sports minister Ashraf Sobhi has vowed that the North African country will host a successful 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Egypt were earlier this month awarded the hosting rights for the 2019 continental tournament, after defeating lone rivals South Africa in a vote held by the CAF executive committee in Dakar, Senegal.
Cameroon were originally scheduled to host the 2019 edition of the AFCON, but delays in their preparations forced CAF to strip the West African country of the tournament and open a bidding process.
Now that Egypt will host the AFCON for the fifth time (they have previously staged the tournament in 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006) the pressure is on for their sports ministry and football association to hold a successful event despite having just a few months to prepare.
"Hosting a big event like the Nations Cup needs around two years of preparations, but we are ready for any challenge," sports minister Sobhi told a news conference on Sunday.
"I promise that the country will organise a tournament that is up to the standards of the state. Our target is to organise an exceptional event."
Sobhi added that a "high committee" would be formed to remove any obstacles facing the Nations Cup organisers, with the prime minister presiding over the committee.
The 2019 AFCON is scheduled to begin on 15 June and will run until 13 July. This will also be the first edition to feature an expanded field of 24 teams.