Gabon to Host AFCON 2017



Gabon has been confirmed as the host country for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Issa Hayatou announced the news at a ceremony on Wednesday.

Libya had been initially selected to stage the competition, but its hosting rights were withdrawn in August last year due to the unstable security situation in the country.

Algeria, Ghana, Gabon and Egypt had bids accepted by Caf, although Egypt withdrew its application in February.

But Caf has put its faith in Gabon, marking the second time in five years that the nation will stage the event.

Gabon served as co-hosts in 2012 alongside Equatorial Guinea, where the 2015 competition was also held after Morocco refused to stage the tournament due to concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus.

Jorge Costa’s Gabon were eliminated in the group stages of this year’s Afcon. They reached the quarter-finals in 1996 and 2012, but have never gone beyond the last eight.

The hosts will take part in the 2017 qualifying stage by playing friendly fixtures against reigning champions Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan and Sierra Leone as part of the Group I calendar. Ghana, who were beaten finalists in 2015, face Mozambique, Rwanda and Mauritius in Group H.

The 13 group winners and best two runners-up will qualify to join Gabon in the finals tournament.



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