Nigeria/Republic of Benin joint bid has loomed to the forefront in the race for hosting of the 36th edition of Africa Cup of Nations in 2027 as the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) vote on the bids for both 2025 and 2027 AFCONs in Cairo today.
With Morocco looking likely to secure the 2025 hosting right, the joint bid by Nigeria and Republic of Benin is in contest with Senegal, Egypt, Botswana and a tripartite arrangement of Uganda/Kenya/Tanzania for the 2027 event.
Algeria was a strong candidate for the 2027 event until the North African country withdrew from the race on Tuesday morning.
Guinea was originally selected to host the 2025 finals, but the Guineans fell behind badly in the preparations with infrastructure and other facilities unattended to, and CAF simply withdrew the hosting right from the country.
Nigeria has put forward the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja; Adokiye Amiesimaka Stadium, Port Harcourt; Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo; Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos; Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna; Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba; Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City and; Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano. In the Republic of Benin, the Stade Mathieu Kerekou in Cotonou and the Stade Charles de Gaulle in Porto Novo are listed.
Nigeria hosted and won the 12th edition of the AFCON in 1980 and then co-hosted the 22nd finals with Ghana in 2000.
Nigeria’s delegation comprising the minister of sports development, John Owan Enoh; permanent secretary in the Ministry, Ismaila Abubakar; NFF president Ibrahim Musa Gusau; general secretary of NFF, Mohammed Sanusi and project coordinator, Mainasara Illo arrived in Cairo on Tuesday ahead of the CAF’s meeting.
The bid’s theme is pegged on how it will spur greater collaboration between both nations in the areas of security and commerce, foster seamless transportation between both nations and by extension the West African region, and be an elixir for the development and improvement of critical infrastructure in the two countries.