The cities of Cairo, Port Said, Alexandria, Ismailia and Suez have been nominated to host the 52 matches of the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations according to www.english.ahram.or.rg.
The Egyptian publication spoke to the Egypt Football Association (EFA) chairman Hani Abo-Rida ahead of the June 13th to July 15th finals.
“The stadiums are Port Said Stadium in Port Said, Suez and Military stadiums in Suez, Cairo Stadium in Cairo, El-Salam Stadium in Qalioubiya, Alexandria and Haras-Elhodoud stadiums in Alexandria and Ismailia Stadium in Ismailia,” Abo-Rida said.
“We don’t choose a stadium only for its green pitch, but also we put into consideration other key factors like the hotels, transportation and the atmosphere in the hosting city.”
“We preferred to exclude Alexandria’s Borg El-Arab Stadium after it hosted many league matches in recent years. We need to do our best in the coming period to get Cairo Stadium at its best before the tournament.”
Although www.football-256.com understands that the 85,000 capacity sitter in Alexandria was overlooked because of its size.
Being the biggest in Egypt, it can only be full when the Egyptian national team is playing there, yet they will be playing their games in Cairo reason the organizers decided to ignore it.
“Ismailia Stadium needs huge work to be ready. We can’t punish the city by excluding its stadium due to the crowd trouble in the recent Confederation Cup match [between Egypt’s Ismaily and Tunisian side club Africain],” Abo-Rida
On January 8th, Egypt was granted the hosting rights after initial hosts Cameroon were stripped off the hosting rights after fears that they wouldn’t be ready by the time of kickoff.
Three of Egypt’s championships at the competition have come when they are hosting it, in 1959, 1886 and 2016, it was in 1974 when Zaire (now DRC) won it in their own backyard as they settled for third.
Abo-Rida is confident that another title could be added to the host country’s victory list.
“Egypt’s team is currently among the top ranked teams. Fan support in the stands and the efforts by the current distinguished squad, including key star Mohamed Salah, will go a long way to helping the team win the African title,” Abo-Rida said.
The draw to know which team will be playing where is slated for April 3rd, in Cairo as the tournaments extends from 16 to 24 teams for the first time in its history.