Cameroun was recently stripped of the rights to host the AFCON after CAF said they were not ready to stage an expanded tournament of 24 teams by June 2019.

Both Egypt and South Africa have submitted formal bids to host the biennial championship. Egypt last hosted the competition in 2006, while South Africa has staged it in 1996 and 2013 when they replaced war-ravaged Libya as tournament hosts.

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A top official said: “The Egyptian government has a very strong connection with the CAF leadership of Ahmad Ahmad.

"They were the main force behind the ouster of Issa Hayatou and the installation of Ahmad Ahmad as CAF President in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“That explains why it is now an Egyptian, Amr Fahmy, who is in charge of the CAF secretariat. Now, what Egypt want from CAF, they get".

Another top official said that while the Egyptian government is fully committed to hosting the AFCON, SAFA had to push the South African government, which is battling recession, to give them the guarantee needed to complete their formal bid.

CAF will announce the new hosts for the 2019 AFCON on January 9.