AFCON tournaments are an opportunity for a country to market their nation, with African countries generally having less international appeal to tourists than those in other continents. The increase in tourists during AFCON comes in parallel with increased spending and hence creates a multiplier effect as money circulates through a nation’s economy and helps provide new jobs. In the long run, the success of AFCON can leave the positive reputation of hosting such a large sporting event and can lead to future events being held, further aiding the creation of new jobs and development of better infrastructure.
The benefits reaped from AFCON exist because of the ever-growing popularity of the event, which is further emphasized by TV viewership.
Alongside an increase in tourism, the AFCON tournament provides this opportunity to showcase African culture to the world, which can also bring about social benefits for the host nation. Gabon hosted the 2017 event, a country with less than 2 million people, and the tournament allowed locals and residents to showcase their country’s food, music, and dances, as well as many other parts of Gabonese culture.
Since Guinea handed back its hosting rights for the 2025 AFCON, Algeria, the 2019 winners, is one of the main candidates to have put their name down for hosting Africa’s illustrious event, having only hosted once before in 1990.
Algeria’s neighbour Morocco has also shown interest in hosting the tournament. The Royal Moroccan Football Federation has demonstrated its ambition to host large-scale football events in recent times after having a rejected bid for the 2026 World Cup and is now scheduled to bid for the 2030 World Cup, either solo or as part of a joint bid.
Motsepe has announced that 10 African nations are interested in hosting the 2025 AFCON, with Nigeria also reportedly planning a bid to co-host the event with the west African country Benin.
The benefits of AFCON are an attractive prospect for any African nation, which is why many are now putting themselves forward for the 2025 edition. However, the CAF requirements for stadiums with specific seating capacities can be challenging for some poorer nations, meaning that the 2025 event may be better suited to a more developed African nation that currently has the facilities in place.
Morocco is still over the moon after making a maiden semi-final appearance for the continent at the Fifa World Cup during the Qatar 2022 competition last year.
For Royal Moroccan Football Federation (RMFF), this is only one of the big fruits yielded thus far from the grand strategy for the development of local football developed in 2014. That’s according to federation president Faouzi Lekjaa.
And there is just more that RMFF wants to achieve. After years of heavy investment, Morocco is seeking to host the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in 2025.
They were successfully shortlisted by continental body Caf and are now subject to a vote during a meeting slated for February 10.
The other bidders for the same tournament are Algeria, Zambia and as well as Nigeria and Benin who have a joint-bid.
The president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe, said he was “thrilled” to receive applications from countries interested in hosting the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2025, saying the objective is “to organize the best competition in Africa”.
CAF chief welcomed Morocco’s application to host AFCON 2025, pointing out that “Morocco has often hosted major competitions and has sometimes been the only country to host a new competition. I am very grateful to Morocco for that.”
The head of African football’s highest body voiced gratitude to Morocco for the support it provides to many African countries and its contribution to the development of football on the continent.
Morocco is host to 3 matches during Day 3 of AFCON 2023 qualifiers in March 2023. Burkina Faso vs Togo, Gambia vs Mali and Guinea Bissau vs Nigeria.
Morocco welcomed more than 12 African teams for friendly competitions during the last Fifa window.
And after Caf declined accepting stadiums for some countries on grounds of standards, Morocco opened up to over 10 African federations to play their official matches there such as Burkina Faso and Equatorial Guinea.
Some partnerships have since had Morocco develop projects for the construction of football fields, such as in Ziniaré, Burkina Faso and in Riboque, Sao Tome. Djibouti and Liberia could have similar projects soon.
“In any case the success at the level of our continent can only be collective and evolution can only be collective,” Lekjaa adds.
In addition, RMFF continues to donate sports equipment, with thousands of balls given to over 20 federations including South Sudan, Eritrea, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda, Madagascar and Central African Republic.
Largely, these moves are done in line with the orientations of the Kingdom of Morocco who sets Africa in the priorities of his diplomacy and foreign policy.
Besides infrastructure, Morocco is banking on its healthy relationship with the continent to win the bid.
This is hinged on the fact RMFF has since 2015 signed more than 40 partnerships with African federations from all sub-confederations of Caf with most contracts extended in 2019.
Morocco has scored major points in its bid to host the 2025 AFCON finals after the country passed strict FIFA prerequisite criteria for the organisation of an expanded new-look FIFA World Cup.
The North African country became the only country to successfully get the greenlight in the strict FIFA prerequisite criteria specifications on sports, hotel, health and infrastructures that make a country eligible to organise the FIFA World Cup under its new format of an increase from 32 to 48 teams.
On the field of play, Wydad Athletic Club and RS Berkane are the reigning CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup champions, while AS Far won the women’s Champions League.
“Liberia fully endorses and supports Morocco’s bid to host Afcon 2025. I have made this commitment to King Mohamed VI. It is cast in stone,” George Weah said in a statement released by the Presidency of Liberia.
“I don’t know how long it is going to take us, South Africa, to get to where Morocco is in terms of infrastructure and facilities to develop coaches and programmes to develop players,” said Pitso Mosimane, award winning CAF competitions coach.
Former Indomitable Lions international Antoine Bell concurs with Mosimane and Weah that Morocco should host not only AFCON but the World Cup in 2030.
“South Africa showed the way, and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.
Surprisingly, despite this success on and off the field, Morocco has yet to host an African Cup of Nations since 1988.
All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written, or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from our management.
This site is not responsible for the content displayed by external sites