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Gabon to host AFCON 2017

AFCON

, once irrelevant to the African football landscape, has won the right to host the () for the second time in just five years.

Located in the west-central part of the continent, Gabon won a three-horse race to host the 2017 edition over Ghana and .

Gabon, who’s national team has gone from regional minnow to force over the past 10 years, co-hosted AFCON 2012 with neighbors Equatorial Guinea.

Algeria, once favorites to host the competition, could possibly have fallen victim to a purported row between FA chief Mohamed Raouraoua and Issa Hayatou, longtime president of African football’s governing body (CAF).

Uncorroborated reports suggest that Raouraoua may have been planning to run for the CAF presidency, threatening Hayatou’s 27-year stranglehold on the position.

, Kenya, Sudan, and Zimbabwe all originally applied to host the tournament as well, with CAF dropping the last three citing inability to meet its hosting criteria.

Egypt, still reeling from political upheaval, then withdrew its application, instead throwing its weight behind Algeria’s bid.

Qualifying for the tournament is set to begin this summer.

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