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Morocco to host next Nations Cup in 2015 – Business Day Live

Africa Cup of Nations 2015 - Morocco will host the next edition of the continental showpiece.

Africa Cup of Nations 2015 – Morocco will host the next edition of the continental showpiece.

**Morocco, which hosts the next finals in 2015, has earmarked six venues each with a capacity of over 45,000 and would hope for a significant number of supporters to come over from Europe. – BBC**

BusinessDayLive, by Mark Gleeson (Feb. 12, 2013) — MOROCCO accepted a symbolic flag from South Africa to signify the handover of the hosting of the African Nations Cup, but with two years to go there are few details of their plans for the 2015 tournament.

Officials have confirmed they will use four venues and are considering choosing to play outside both the capital Rabat and the main commercial centre Casablanca.

Morocco, like South Africa, has no infrastructure issues, with its stadiums ready built.

Closing ceremony before 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso at National Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Closing ceremony before 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso at National Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. BBC Sport

The North African country continued to construct and upgrade even after losing the 2010 World Cup race to South Africa, and can host without major new investment.

The change of the hosting of the tournament from every even to odd year is still a decision that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) finds hard to justify and presents challenges for the qualifying competition. CAF has revealed that it plans to ram the qualifiers for the 2015 finals into an intense three-month spell late next year, after the completion of the World Cup in Brazil.

The draw for the preliminaries will be made some time this year but it is not certain when. Traditionally the qualifying draw for the next tournament is concluded the day before the final of the preceding event. However, this did not happen in Johannesburg this time because CAF is still trying to fine-tune the full preliminary programme.

Atlas Lions are there to support the Moroccan football team. Picture taken during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations , SOUTH AFRICA 2013 soccer match, Angola Vs Morocco at National stadium in Johannesburg on January 19, 2013. - Copyright : Orange, picture by Christian Liewig

Atlas Lion fans were there to support the Moroccan football team during 2013 Africa Cup of Nations at National stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Picture by Christian Liewig.

General secretary Hicham El Amrani says there will be group qualification played on double dates in September, October and November next year, a guaranteed six games for all countries.

That would mean matches on a weekend and the following Tuesday or Wednesday, with enormous logistical challenges for many countries.

It would also mean the draw for the 2015 finals will have to be hastily arranged thereafter, leaving the finalists with little time to digest their pairings before the finals are played in January 2015.

The most lavishly ornamented fan at the tournament comes from Burkina Faso, which advanced to the final match, before falling 1-0 against Nigeria. Business Insider

The most lavishly ornamented fan at the tournament comes from Burkina Faso, which advanced to the final match, before falling 1-0 against Nigeria. Business Insider

“We have an agreement with Fifa that we played the finals in the period of January 15 to February 15. We are allowed to change it a little on either side,” El Amrani said.

Next month CAF will also begin the process of deciding the 2017 finals. Libya is supposed to host the event but the security situation there remains tenuous and infrastructure damage must still be assessed.

A delegation will travel from Cairo to check facilities in Libya, ostensibly to see whether they will allow Libyan club sides to host home matches in the upcoming African Champions League and African Confederation Cup ties.

16 teams competed in South Africa Jan.19-Feb.10 in 2013 AFCON.

16 teams competed in South Africa Jan.19-Feb.10 in 2013 AFCON.

Morocco's Atlas Lions in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, played with intensity and didn't lose a match, but were eliminated after a dramatic 2-2 tie with the host team from South Africa.

Looking forward to 2015:  Morocco’s Atlas Lions at 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, played with intensity and didn’t lose a match, but were eliminated after dramatic 2-2 tie with host team from South Africa.

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