The Confederation of African Football (CAF), the continental governing body for soccer, has received four expressions of interest from six possible host nations for the flagship 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) men’s continental national teams tournament.
The member associations of Algeria, Botswana, and Egypt have made individual expressions of interest in hosting the event, while Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda have joined to launch a joint bid.
Moving forward, the bidders will have until May 23 to submit their official bids, with inspection visits scheduled between June 1 and July 15.
No date has been set by CAF to announce the host or hosts of the 24-team event yet.
Egypt hosted AFCON in 2019, while Algeria hosted the African Nations Championship (CHAN), the pan-continental tournament for locally based players, earlier this year, meaning both nations will have suitable infrastructure to stage the major event.
Botswana had initially planned to co-host the tournament with Namibia, but the Namibians withdrew from the bid citing financial concerns last week. It is unclear how much investment will be needed for the country to stage the event by itself.
Kenya, meanwhile, has only one stadium approved for international matches by CAF – the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi. However, the government has pledged its support of the bid. Neither Kenya, Tanzania, or Uganda have staged the event before.
Kenya was previously stripped of its hosting rights to the 2018 CHAN four months before the start of the finals due to several venues not being ready.
Ivory Coast is due to host the postponed 2023 AFCON from January 13 to February 11 next year – in the middle of the 2023-24 European soccer season.
That edition has been moved twice from its original slot in January and February 2023. It was initially postponed to June and July on the back of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar being held in November and December 2022, before being pushed back again to next year due to the tournament’s new European summer dates falling during the rainy season in the Ivory Coast.
It is the second time CAF has been forced to move the top-tier continental tournament after the 2022 edition, originally scheduled for July 2021, was postponed until January 2022 due to a surge in coronavirus cases in host nation Cameroon.
CAF is also yet to announce the host or hosts for the 2025 AFCON after stripping Guinea of its rights in October due to insufficient preparation. The political situation in Guinea, which has been under military rule since a coup in 2021, had led to concerns over security and organization for its AFCON hosting.
Algeria, South Africa Morocco, and Zambia have made individual bids for the 2025 edition, while Benin and Nigeria have submitted a co-bid.
Earlier this month (April 13), CAF opened a tender process to find an agency partner to secure sponsorship deals for its leading tournaments and competitions for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons.
The primary CAF competitions are the national teams’ Cup of Nations and Nations Championship, as well as qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, and the club sides’ Champions League and Confederation Cup.