Ahead of 2019 AFCON: A Look into Egypt’s SIX Chosen Sporting Arenas

Victor Kekereekun
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On 8th, January 2019, Egypt were chosen by the CAF Executive Committee as the host nation of this year’s edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition. The tournament has also been moved from the original dates of 15 June – 13 July to 21 June – 19 July due to Ramadan.

The 2019 tournament will be the first edition with 24 teams taking part (from its former 16 teams format), and will be played out in six stadiums, according to the Egypt Football Association (EFA).

With more than 20 stadiums in the country capable of staging Africa’s flagship football event, Egypt football authorities have chosen six stadiums for their hosting of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

In this piece, I will take you through what to know and a brief background to all the SIX selected stadia for the fast approaching event. Next week, preview and in-depth analysis will be done on some of the teams taking part in the tournament. But before then, let’s take a look into the sporting arenas these African nations will be going head-to-head;

Cairo International Stadium

The Cairo International Stadium or “Stad El Qahira El Dawly”, is an Olympic-standard, multi-use stadium with an all-seated capacity of 75,000.

The architect of the stadium is the German Werner March, who had built from 1934 to 1936 the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Before becoming an all seater stadium, it had the ability to hold over 100,000 spectators, reaching a record of 120,000.

It is the foremost Olympic-standard facility befitting the role of Cairo, Egypt as the centre of events in the region. It is also the 69th largest stadium in the world.

Located in Nasr City; a suburb north east of Cairo, it was completed in 1960, and was inaugurated by President Gamal Abd El Nasser on 23 July that year, the eighth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.

Zamalek SC currently use the Petro Sport Stadium for most of their home games and Al Ahly use Al-Salam Stadium for most of their home games.

The Air Force Stadium

Air Force is a stadium used mostly for football matches and also sometimes for athletics located in Cairo.

It was built by the Egyptian Air Defense Forces. The stadium is the main venue of the Air Defense Sport Village.

The stadium has a capacity of 30,000 and it is one of the venues of the Egyptian Premier League.

It is the home ground of the Egyptian Premier League side Pyramids F.C.

In March 2019 it was announced that the stadium will host the fixtures of Group C in African Cup of Nations 2019.

Suez Stadium

The Suez Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium located in Suez, Egypt.

It is used mostly for football and serves as the home stadium of Asmant El-Suweis & Petrojet. The stadium has a capacity of 27,000 people. It opened in 1990.

Alexandria Stadium

Alexandria Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium in Alexandria, Egypt. It is currently used mostly for football matches, and was used for the 2006 African Cup of Nations.

The stadium is the oldest stadium in Egypt and Africa, being built in 1929. The stadium holds 20,000 people after recent upgrading.

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Ismailia Stadium

The Ismailia Stadium is located in Ismailia, Egypt, and has a total capacity of 18,525 after its reconstruction in 2009. It is used by Ismaily SC, and was one of six stadiums to be used in the 2006 African Cup of Nations, held in Egypt.

The Port Said Stadium

Port Said Stadium is a multi-use all-seated stadium in Al Manakh, Port Said, Egypt, which opened in 1955 and inaugurated by Hussein El Shafei, the Egyptian minister of social affairs on behalf of President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Al Masry Club Stadium is owned by Al Masry Sporting Club, and has a capacity of 18,000.

The stadium was banned from all activities on 1 February 2012 after the incidents of Port Said Stadium riot occurred following a league match between Al Masry and Al Ahly which resulted in the death 72 Al Ahly fans, 1 Al Masry fan and 1 police officer.

The Egyptian Football Association suspended all football related activities immediately following that disaster.

On 10 February 2018, after more than 6 years since the disaster, football activities returned to the stadium as Al Masry played against Zambian team Green Buffaloes in the preliminary qualifying round of the 2018 CAF Confederation Cup.

The stadium also hosted some matches in 1997 FIFA U-17 World Championship, 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, 2007 Pan Arab Games Football Tournament, 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.


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