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Egypt names cities and stadiums for 2019 Afcon

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Egypt’s Football Association (EFA) chairman Hani Abo-Rida has revealed that there will be six venues in five cities to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament.

The cities include Cairo, Port Said, Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez.

EFA told the Confederation of African Football (Caf) that it plans to use a total of six stadia for the finals – Cairo International Stadium, Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo, Alexandria Stadium, Al Masry Club Stadium in Port Said, Ismailia Stadium and the Suez Stadium.

Abo-Rida said, “We don’t choose a stadium only for its green pitch, but also we put into consideration other key factors like the hotels, transportation and the atmosphere in the hosting city.”

The EFA chairman denied rumors saying that Ismailia will be excluded because of the fans’ riot during Ismaily’s clash against Club African at the CAF Champions League when the match was abandoned.

“Ismailia Stadium needs huge work to be ready. We can’t punish the city by excluding its stadium due to the crowd trouble in the recent Confederation Cup match [between Egypt’s Ismaily and Tunisian side club Africain],” he added.

The Egypt Football Association also announced that the Borg Al Arab stadium will not be one of the main venues for the Africa Cup of Nations despite the fact that it is the largest stadium in Egypt with a capacity of 86,000.

The venue is relatively remote and there is no regular public transport for fans to use. Instead it will be on standby to host any matches involving Egypt that are due to be played outside Cairo.

The EFA has also requested for the tournament to kick-off a day earlier than planned on Friday 14th June.

The Pharaohs last hosted the continental tournament in 2006 and are the record holders of the Afcon trophy having won it seven times.

Fourteen countries have already confirmed their places at the 2019 tournament and they are; Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Madagascar, Morocco, Mali, Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Mauritania, Guinea and Ivory Coast.

The other ten places will be decided during the final qualifiers in March 2019.

The group stage draw will be held on 4th April in Cairo, Egypt.

The 2019 AFCON tournament will be the first to host 24 teams from 16. The competition will be held from 14th June to 13th July.

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