Algeria has opted to withdraw from the race to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in either 2025 or 2027, according to an announcement by the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) on Tuesday, just one day ahead of the scheduled host nation announcements for both tournaments.
In a statement, the FAF confirmed that it had formally notified the Confederation of African Football (CAF) of its decision to retract its bids to host the prestigious AFCON events in 2025 and 2027.
Algeria was initially competing with its North African neighbor Morocco, as well as Zambia and a joint bid from Nigeria and Benin for the right to host the 2025 tournament. Additionally, Algeria had submitted its candidacy for the 2027 competition, competing against Botswana, Egypt, Senegal, and a combined bid from Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
The FAF explained the withdrawal as part of a new strategic approach aimed at advancing football development within Algeria.
Coincidentally, the announcement coincided with the inauguration of the FAF’s new president, Walid Sadi.
Speculation had arisen that both Algeria and Morocco had a preference for hosting the 2025 AFCON. Earlier this year, Fouzi Lekjaa, a prominent Moroccan and CAF official, caused a stir by suggesting that Morocco would be selected as the host for the 2025 event.
Algeria had previously successfully hosted the African Nations Championship, a tournament exclusively for domestically-based players, earlier in the year.
CAF’s executive committee is set to convene in Cairo on Wednesday to formally announce the host nations for the 2025 and 2027 editions of the AFCON.
The next AFCON is scheduled to take place in the Ivory Coast in January and February of 2024, following a postponement from its original June and July timeframe to avoid the West African rainy season.