The government of Morocco has asked Uganda to support its bid to host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations-AFCON.
Morroco’s request was made by His Highness King Mohammed VI of Morocco, through his Special Envoy and Minister of Culture and Youth Mehdi Ben Said, who visited President Yoweri Museveni at State House, Entebbe last evening.
This comes just three months after the Confederation of African Football (CAF) re-opened the bidding process for the hosting rights of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations after initial hosts Guinea announced that they were not ready to host the competition due to a lack of quality infrastructure and facilities.
In making the decision, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Patrice Motsepe said Guinea was not ready to host the competition because it has only one international-standard stadium while the continental competition requires at least six stadia.
Morocco has not hosted the African Cup of Nations since 1988. But it has to beat competition from its regional rival Algeria to be able to host the prestigious continental competition in 2025. The two countries have strained relations over the disputed Western Sahara region and have since severed diplomatic relations.
The authorities in Morocco have since been persuading various countries to support their bid. Following Morrocos’ request to Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni said that he will support the bid as long as it doesn’t collide with the interest of East African states.
“Being the first country to approach us, I will support them on condition that it doesn’t collide with the interests of the East African states”, Museveni said in a Tweet.
Meanwhile, FUFA President, Moses Magogo who is also a member of the Confederation of African Football- CAF Executive Committee explained that the only support that Uganda can give to Morocco is his vote and an Excom Member.
“First of all you need to know that the award of who hosts, the power rests in the executive committee of CAF, it’s not every Federation in Africa, it’s only the members of the executive where some are not even Presidents of the Federation,” Magogo told URN. He added that if Uganda is to support Morocco, he has to get a directive from the President asking him for the same because FUFA does not have a seat on the CAF Executive, nor does it have a vote.
Meanwhile, this also comes as Uganda plans to bid to co-host the 2027 edition of the tournament. In July 2022, CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe on his visit to Uganda asked the government to submit its bid to host the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2027.
Dr Motsepe stated that if Uganda and Tanzania are successful in their ambition to co-host AFCON, the entire globe will be following the action from the two nations, which he feels will promote tourism, trade, and football development in both Uganda and Tanzania.
According to FUFA First Vice-President Justus Mugisha, the Federation has already made a definitive decision to bid to co-host the event.
“As a country, we have agreed to bid together with Tanzania, and we shall need to have three stadia and very many training grounds, but what you need to bid is a government guarantee that whatever facility they need the government will put them up within those years, and we already have the government guarantee”, he told URN.
According to CAF, the minimum requirement for hosting the tournament is that the host should have six stadiums to cater to the 24 teams that take part in the tournament. In addition, CAF established one of the two stadiums should have at least two 40,000-capacity stadia, two 20,000-seater stadia, and two with a capacity of 15,000, among other requirements.