The 2025 AFCON will be held in Morocco whilst the 2027 tournament will take place in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Wednesday at an official ceremony in Cairo the selected hosts for the 2025 and 2027 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournaments.

The 2025 edition of the tournament will be hosted by Morocco, which will make it just the second occasion in which the North African nation will host the tournament. The previous time was the 16th edition of the tournament in 1988.

The bids to host the 2025 AFCON 2025 were opened up again after the initial hosts, Guinea, were removed from hosting duties last year due to the nation's facilities and infrastructure not being advanced enough to host the tournament. Guinea had plenty of time to prepare as they were named hosts of the 2023 AFCON in 2014, before switching to 2025 due to host changes to prior AFCON tournaments.

Morocco was up against a joint bid from Nigeria and Benin, as well as individual bids from Zambia and Algeria for the 2025 AFCON. However, all of those bids dropped out of the running before the official vote was set to be made by CAF's executive committee, which led to Morocco automatically being installed as the host of AFCON in two years' time.

The withdrawal of the other bids came from there being a collective understanding that Morocco being the hosts would increase the chances of the FIFA World Cup returning to Africa for 2030. This is as Morocco is bidding jointly alongside Spain and Portugal to host the 2030 World Cup, after failing five times individually in the past, including for the 2026 World Cup, which went to the United States, Canada and Mexico bid instead.

Morocco is looking to grow as a football nation after their successful 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign, which saw them reach the semi-finals and knock out European giants Spain and Portugal along the way. They also finished top of their group which contained other semi-finalists, Croatia, as well as Belgium.

CAF President, Patrice Motsepe, spoke on the decision to allow Morocco to host the 2025 edition of AFCON. He stated: "The decision that was taken today was to focus on African unity, development and growth, in the context of those countries withdrawing. The bid from Morocco to host the World Cup is not just for Morocco, but for the whole of Africa."

Morocco will find out if they will finally get to host a World Cup when FIFA makes its decision for 2030 hosting duties in the fourth quarter of 2024. The only World Cup to be held on African soil was the 2010 edition, when South Africa hosted, so Morocco will use the 2025 AFCON to display its competence in hosting an international tournament.

Also announced at the ceremony in Cairo were the official hosts for the 2027 AFCON, with the East African bid consisting of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, winning the rights to host the tournament. This will mark the first time in five decades that the East African region will host the tournament, with Ethiopia last doing so in 1976.

CAF President Motsepe explained why it was necessary for the three East African nations to team up for the bid and expressed hope for the 2027 edition of AFCON. He pronounced: "The three nations came together because our standards and requirements are very high."

Motsepe also added: "Sometimes it requires hundreds of millions — sometimes billions — in infrastructure. It makes me proud when football brings countries together. AFCON 2027 is going to be a huge success."

Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda beat out bids from Egypt, Senegal and Botswana to win the vote made by the CAF executive committee. Algeria was in the running for the 2027 AFCON as well but dropped out from the bidding alongside the 2025 tournament.

The next edition of AFCON is just months away as it will take place from January to February of next year in Ivory Coast. Current holders, Senegal, will be looking to defend their crown after winning the 2021 AFCON, where they saw off Egypt in the final after coming out on top in a penalty shoot-out.