Zambia is set to launch its bid to host the 2025 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), President Edgar Lungu has revealed. The news comes after the country recently lifted the Under-20 Africa Nations Cup.
In a meeting between President Lungu, and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), it was revealed that the country will start bidding for the 2025 AFCON.
“I don’t know the bidding process, but as a politician, I am bidding right now. I am bidding on behalf of all Zambians. We can improve on the hotels, roads and transport” President Lungu told a meeting which included senior CAF officials.
CAF said all infrastructure including, hotels, and stadiums must be ready, and the Zambian authorities have promised to fast-track the construction of the necessary infrastructure.
The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) registered its bid for the 2019 AFCON, but was defeated by Cameroon, which will host Africa’s biggest football tournament.
Zambia has never hosted the tournament. The Chipolopolo have been runners-up twice, and won the 2012 AFCON championships, beating the tournament favorites Ivory Coast squad with big stars including Yaya Toure, and Didier Drogba.
History of the African Cup of Nations
The AFCON tourney is the major football competition in Africa. It began in 1957 with only three participating nations, which included Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia, and has grown since.
In 1998 the participants increased to 16 and since then, the format of fixtures has been unchanged with the 16 teams being drawn into four groups of four teams each, with the top two teams of each group advancing to the “knock-out” stage.
The 2019 AFCON will be the 32nd edition.
Ivory Coast and Guinea will host the 2021 and 2023 respective editions but CAF has hinted at the possibility of awarding the rights to Zambia if any of the three fail to meet CAF’s requirements to host the biennial competition.