The inability of South Africa’s national team, Bafana Bafana, to have qualified for the continental football showpiece with a game in hand was a major factor that robbed the rainbow nation the chance to stage the tournament for the third time ahead of the Egypt that got the nod yesterday for a record fifth time.
Egypt won the right to host with 16-1 votes, the first time any country will be grabbing the slot with such wide margin.
The only vote South Africa won may have even come from its FA boss, Danny Jordaan, while one CAF Executive Committee member abstained from the process.
Before the announcement of Egypt as the host of the AFCON 2019, there were concerns that giving the rights to South Africa might raise a technical problem if Libya qualifies in March. That is likely going to increase the field to 25 as Cameroon, the original host country has already secured a ticket to the final.
In the last qualifying matches slated for March, South Africa must avoid defeat to host Libya to win the Group B runner up slot behind Nigeria who topped the pack with a game to spare.
Last December, Cameroon was stripped of the right to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations due to both serious delays in its preparations for the finals and the persistence of a violent separatist uprising close to two of the planned venues.
The AFCON 2019 is scheduled to take place from 15 June to 13 July, having been moved from January/February to avoid club-versus-country clashes.