African soccer’s CAF governing body has announced the dates for the upcoming editions of its biennial men’s and women's Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) competitions, both of which will next be staged in Morocco in 2025.

AFCON’s 2025 men’s edition will begin on December 21, 2025, and will continue until January 18, 2026, when its showpiece final will take place.

The women’s edition (dubbed WAFCON) will take place from July 5-26 next year, in order to accommodate it in the increasingly congested world soccer calendar.

There had been worries that WAFCON 2024 would not be staged at all given the uncertainty around its date, so having a confirmed hosting period will assure many on the continent that its top international spectacle will still go ahead.

Patrice Motsepe, CAF president, stated of the delay in confirming dates for the two tournaments: “The announcement of the dates of the AFCON Morocco 2025 took much longer than expected, as there were complex and at times challenging discussions with various interested parties, in the light of the extensive international and domestic match calendars.”

The CAF also confirmed that it will host its 46th ordinary general assembly on October 10, 2024, in Kinshasa, DR Congo, and the organization invited hosting bids for a number of its competitions, namely the 2024 CAF Women’s Champions League club competition, the U17 and U20 youth category AFCON competitions, and the 2024 edition of the CAF’s annual awards ceremony.

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WAFCON was also hosted by Morocco in 2022 in three venues across two cities, Rabat’s Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium (50,000 capacity), and Stade Moulay Hassan (12,000 capacity), as well as Casablanca’s 45,891 capacity Stade Mohammed V.

These venues are likely to be utilized again in WAFCON 2024, while as many as three others will also be utilized for the men’s edition, which typically requires six stadia.

Morocco has only hosted the men’s AFCON once before, in 1988, while the competition has been hosted across North Africa a number of times, most recently in Egypt in 2019.

Hosting rights for 2025 had originally been held by the sub-Saharan country of Guinea, which handed back the rights because of inadequate facilities and infrastructure in 2022.

Morocco’s royal family has invested a lot of money into soccer infrastructure funding in the country, granting it the necessary existing infrastructure to take over the hosting of AFCON in 2025 on relatively short notice.

The economic boost generated by hosting AFCON usually outweighs the costs and can provide benefits in the long run.

Egypt, for example, generated $83 million in revenue from the 2019 edition. Infrastructure developments in cities such as Alexandria, Suez, and Ismailia benefited residents and tourists alike, also boosting Egypt’s public image and attractiveness to future tourists.

Both AFCON and WAFCON are title sponsored by oil and gas giant TotalEnergies as part of a wide-ranging sponsorship deal with CAF covering 10 of its competitions that began in 2016.