CAF Executive Committee announced on Friday the 2019 African Cup of Nations Draw which will start on June 21.
The matches will be played in the Cairo, Air Defense, Al Salam, Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia stadiums. The Cairo Stadium will host the opening match and final match.
- Group A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe – This group of matches will be played at Cairo Stadium
- Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi – This group of matches will be played at Alexandria Stadium
- Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania – This group of matches will be played at Air Defense Stadium
- Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia – This group of matches will be played at Al Salam Stadium
- Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola – This group of matches will be played at Suez Stadium
- Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau – This group of matches will be played at Ismailia Stadium
Egypt won the rights to host the tournament after being selected over South Africa.
The 2019 African Cup of nations was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. However, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the tournament for serious delays in preparations.
Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the competition as Egypt has won a record of seven titles including three in a row between 2006 and 2010.
Egypt has been known for its ability to host the biggest sports tournaments as the country has one of the best infrastructures in the continent, besides the huge passion of its people towards sports, especially football.
Since 1996, a total of 16 teams were allowed to participate at the tournament but for the first time in history, 24 nations will compete to win the title in 2019.
Since the launch of Egypt’s official bid to host the tournament, the Egyptian Football Federation announced the stadiums which would host the games.
Egypt Today presents in the below lines information about six stadiums that will host the tournament.
Cairo will host two groups including the group of Egypt national team.
Cairo has many stadiums that can host the games, but the Football Federation announced that Cairo International Stadium and Al-Salam Stadium are chosen ones to host the tournament.
Cairo International Stadium
Located in Nasr City, Giza, Cairo International stadium has been a luck magnet to the Egyptian national team as it hosted the AFCON finals three times, and managed to achieve the title in two of them, in 1986 and 2006.
Opened in 1960, the Cairo International Stadium is the historic home ground for Al-Ahly, Zamalek and the national team.
It is the largest stadium in the capital with all-seated capacity of 75,000 and it is expected to host the opening game and the Final.
Beside hosting the AFCON, Cairo Stadiums hosted many major tournaments like the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup, 1991 All-Africa Games and the derbies between Al-Ahly and Zamalek.
Al Salam Stadium
The stadium has emerged to be the alternative of Cairo International Stadium and it hosted many games for Al-Ahly and Zamalek.
The Stadium located in Al Salam Stadium opened in 2009 with with an all-seated capacity of 30,000
30 June Stadium
The 30 June Stadium is a stadium used mostly for football matches and also sometimes for athletics located in Cairo. It was built by the Egyptian Air Defense Forces. The stadium is the main venue of the Air Defense Sport Village.
The Mediterranean city of Alexandria is the the second largest city of Egypt, and has been a permanent co-host to sports events alongside Cairo.
Hosted the AFCON tournament in 2006, both Alexandria Stadium and Haras El Hodoud Stadium are highly expected to host the games this year as well.
They call it the home of football as the first football game ever played in Egypt was on its soil, even before the stadium was established. Built in 1929, Alexandria Stadium is considered the oldest football stadium in Egypt and Africa.
The stadium is the home ground for local teams from Alexandria like: Al Ittihad, Smouha and Olympic Club, while the passionate football fans in the city used to pack its 20,000 seats.
The Canal region stadiums
The three cities of the Canal region, Ismailia, Port Said and Suez will be the hosts of the other three groups of the tournament.
It is a historic moment for the people in Suez as their 27,000 seated stadium will host an International tournament for the first time ever.
The stadium was opened in 1990 and it is the home ground of the city’s local teams like: Asmant El-Suweis, Petrojet and Montakhab el-Suez.
Known as the city of arts of and football, Ismailia is one of the most beautiful cities in Egypt, and is located in the North East of the country. The fans will enjoy watching African Football again on their 18,000-seated ground.