The 36th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations AFCON will be held in 2027, and the combined proposal from Nigeria and neighbouring Republic of Benin has taken the lead in the competition to host it.
The Executive Committee of the Confederation of African Football will vote on the bids for both 2025 and 2027 on Wednesday in Cairo.
The meeting will be held in the Cairo Marriott Hotel in the Zamalek district of Cairo.
Senegal, Egypt, Botswana, and a tripartite agreement of Uganda/Kenya/Tanzania are competing for the right to host the 2027 event, while Morocco is essentially given the honour for the 2025 finals.
Prior to the North African nation’s withdrawal from the competition on Tuesday morning, Algeria was a promising prospect for the 2027 tournament.
On the same day that Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire received the nod to host the 2021 and 2023 editions, respectively, Guinea was first chosen to host the 2025 finals.
However, the Guineans were far behind in the planning, leaving the infrastructure and other facilities unmanaged.
The country’s situation has not improved under the current military administration, thus CAF has simply terminated its hosting agreement with that nation.
The MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, the Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium in Port Harcourt, the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, and the Sani Stadium have all been proposed by Nigeria.
The Stade Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou and the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo are mentioned under the Republic of Benin.
In 1980, Nigeria hosted and won the 12th AFCON, and in 2000, it co-hosted the 22nd finals with Ghana.
The Nigerian delegation, which included Project Coordinator Mainasara Illo, President of the NFF Ibrahim Musa Gusau, General Secretary of the NFF Mohammed Sanusi, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports Development John Owan Enoh, landed in Cairo on Tuesday night.
Amaju Melvin Pinnick, a member of the CAF Executive Committee and the FIFA Council for Nigeria, has joined them.
The Nigeria/Benin Republic bid is being strongly discussed in the hallways of CAF’s headquarters in 6th October City, outside of Cairo, with references to two African members of the FIFA Council and the CAF Executive Committee, Amaju Melvin Pinnick (the former president of the NFF), and Mathurin De Chacus (the current president of Federation Beninoise de Football).
The bidders will have 10 minutes to present on Wednesday before the CAF Executive Committee casts its vote after discussing the Independent Assessment Committee’s report. Veteran broadcaster and skilled bid campaigner Mainasara Illo will argue the case for Nigeria and Benin.
The discourse Illo led a bid coordinating team that showed two different CAF inspection teams around Nigeria’s stadia infrastructure and other facilities. Illo, who served as deputy chief organiser of the 8th All-Africa Games that Nigeria hosted in 2003 and chief organiser of the FIFA U17 World Cup that Nigeria also hosted in 2009, will make a case using a combination of persuasive oratory and multi-media presentation.
The theme of the bid is how it will promote greater cooperation between the two countries in the areas of security and trade, foster seamless transportation between the two countries and, consequently, the region of West Africa, and be a panacea for the growth and improvement of crucial infrastructure in the two nations.