Algeria has withdrawn from the race to host the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on the eve of the vote which will decide which countries are awarded the tournament in 2025 and 2027.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) would resolve a much-delayed decision over who would replace Guinea as 2025 hosts.
The country was stripped of the tournament in October last year due to concerns about infrastructure and facilities, BBC reported.
Morocco was expected to be named as Guinea’s replacement, with current title holders Senegal favourites to be awarded the 2027 edition.
Algeria had been in the running for both the 2025 and 2027 events, but newly-elected president of the Algerian Football Federation (FAF) Walid Sadi used an appearance on state TV on Tuesday to announce the country’s withdrawal from the bidding process, stating the move was motivated by a “new approach to the football development strategy in Algeria”.
The FAF has also said it now planned to “focus its efforts on the reorganisation and revitalisation of football in Algeria”.
That leaves Morocco, Zambia and a joint Nigeria-Benin bid as the remaining candidates for 2025.
Senegal, Egypt, Botswana and a combined East African bid from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda are in the running for 2027.
The bids from both Algeria and Morocco have been complicated by the adversarial political relationship between the two countries, which led to diplomatic ties being severed in 2021.
Earlier this year, defending champions Morocco withdrew from the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria after being refused a direct flight by the host nation.
WARNING! All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express permission from ZAMBIA MONITOR.