Morocco to host the African Cup of Nations?

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Twenty years after hosting the African Cup of Nations, Morocco has left no stone unturned to bring the games back to the northern African kingdom. They intend to host the games either in 2015 or 2017. But analysts believe that Morocco’s bid to host the games in 2015 could be rejected due to the CAN administration’s culture of alternating between Northern and Southern countries.

Following its absence in the last African Nations Cup, Morocco needs to put up a big fight to win in a tough group (Algeria, Central Africa and Tanzania) in the 2012 edition of the African Cup of Nations, jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial-Guinea.

And for the 2015 games, the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Football intends to apply to host the continental football event.

“The Moroccan bid will be officially presented at the next CAF meeting on September 29,” said Ali Fassi Fihri, president of the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Football, adding that the north African country stands a good chance of winning the bid to host CAN 2015 or 2017.

According to him Morocco should have six stadiums by 2011 in order to meet the international standards required by the football governing body.

Three of the stadiums are already finished (Casablanca, Rabat and Fez). Works on three additional stadiums in Marrakech, Agadir and Tangiers, are in their final stages.

An inspection commission is expected to travel to Morocco at the end of November, ahead of the official announcement of the countries selected to host the 2015 and the 2017 games.

Six stadiums by 2011

Morocco hosted the African Cup of Nations in 1988, its first, following the withdrawal of Zambia. That year, the Atlas Lions under the direction of their Brazilian coach, Jose Faria, were eliminiated in the semi-final against Cameroon, who went on to win the race.

The organization of the 2013 edition, however, by Libya could throw Morocco’s 2015 ambitions off track, given the Confederation of African Football’s habit of alternating the games between Northern and Southern countries.

But while some football analysts say the CAF’s rules are not written in stone, others believe that the host nation for the 2017 games will definitely be Morocco.

Countries selected to host the 2015 and 2017 editions of the African Cup of Nations will be announced at the end of November 2010.

Guinea has also announced its intention to host the competition.

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