Morocco has been chosen to host the AFCON Finals 2025. This decision, made during the executive committee vote of the Confederation of African Football in Cairo, represents a fundamental upheaval in the tournament’s terrain.
Notably, Morocco emerged as the rightful host following the withdrawal of Algeria, Zambia, and a joint bid from Benin and Nigeria. The North African nation, a frontrunner in the selection process, sees this as a positive step towards its aspirations of co-hosting the 2030 World Cup with Portugal and Spain.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet your CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2025 hosts 🥁— CAF (@CAF_Online) September 27, 2023
🇲🇦 Morocco 🇲🇦 pic.twitter.com/sCl9dmbKw5
The 2027 hosting rights were handed to a co-bid from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, marking the return of the finals to East Africa for the first time since 1976. This victory came after a closely contested vote, with the joint East African bid prevailing over competitors Botswana, Egypt, Senegal, and even Algeria, who had initially entered the race but withdrew a day before the decision.
This is a watershed occasion for Maroc, which previously hosted Africa’s most prestigious football tournament in 1988. Their path to securing hosting rights for 2025 has been defined by tenacity and savvy diplomacy. Notably, Morocco’s decision to pull out of hosting the 2015 Cup of Nations owing to Ebola virus worries resulted in a two-year ban from African competitions.
Nevertheless, Morocco’s commitment to African football development did not waver. They embarked on a diplomatic charm offensive across the continent, utilizing football as a tool to strengthen their ties with other African nations.
This approach bore fruit as Morocco hosted various CAF events at women’s and age group levels. Furthermore, they extended a helping hand to African countries facing bans on hosting international games due to inadequate pitch or stadium conditions by allowing them to use Moroccan stadiums.
Morocco’s candidacy for the Africa Cup of Nations in 2025 lays out an ambitious strategy to take the game to new heights. They have suggested six stadiums in Agadir, Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech, Rabat, and Tanger, demonstrating their commitment to delivering world-class facilities for the event.
This contrasts with their previous hosting in 1988, when the tournament featured just eight teams and was played in only two venues—Casablanca and Rabat. The decision to spread the tournament across multiple cities reflects the desire to not only showcase the nation’s rich footballing culture but also contribute to the overall development of football in different regions.
CAF president Patrice Motsepe stressed the need to expand the tournament across different regions, emphasizing the Africa Cup of Nations’ role in encouraging the development of football across the continent. This remark reflects a rising recognition of the importance of inclusion and regional representation in African football. maroc adherence to this principle is consistent with the tournament’s expanding vision.