CAF Disqualifies Guinea From Hosting 2025 African Cup of Nations
On Friday, September 30th, The Confederation of African Football (CAF), announced that the 2025 African Cup of Nations would not be held in Guinea due to insufficient infrastructure, the latest in a string of changes and postponements for the continental championship over the previous ten years.
The African Cup of Nations series was interrupted for a year by the COVID-19 pandemic. CAF has announced that its executive committee would meet in Algeria to discuss the specifics of reopening the bid process for the 2025 competition.
This announcement came right after the visit of CAF President Patrice Motsepe to Col. Mamady Doumbouya, the leader of the military junta that seized power in a coup in Guinea in 2021.
An inspection committee visited Guinea in early September and concluded that Guinea would not be prepared for the 2025 games. The West African country was then disqualified from hosting the competition, but CAF decided internally not to make an official announcement until Motsepe’s visit.
Earlier in August, Doumbouya stated that the African Cup of Nations was still a “priority” for the new military leadership and that Guinea should host it. As stated by CAF, this couldn’t be achieved and thus, Guinea will no longer be hosting the tournament as its facilities and infrastructure were “not ready to host a world-class AFCON competition.”
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Prior to the decision to move the tournament, CAF President Motsepe said he visited Guinea on Friday “out of respect to the people of Guinea.”
Since 2013, there has been an issue with the initial host nations for AFCON every year.
South Africa took over as host in 2013 for Libya which had been torn apart by civil war; Equatorial Guinea replaced Morocco in 2015; Gabon took over for a still-unprepared Libya in 2017; Egypt took over for a poorly-prepared Cameroon in 2019, and Cameroon hosted its tournament three years later than anticipated in 2022; there had also been a one-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The African Cup that Ivory Coast was supposed to host in 2021 was postponed to 2024 due to the delay with Cameroon.
The African Cup of Nations is held every two years, but if CAF sticks to its current schedule, its event could be consecutively held in 2024 and 2025.