The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Tuesday January 8th that Egypt would replace Cameroon as the host of this year's African Cup of Nations soccer tournament, giving newly-crowned continental player of the year Mohamed Salah a chance to shine on his home stage, AP has reported.
Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian forward who plays for Liverpool, won the African player of the year award for second year in a row, making Tuesday a double victory for Egypt.
Both announcements took place in the Senegalese capital Dakar. Egypt was trusted with the Cup of Nations in a vote of the CAF's executive committee at a morning meeting. Later, at an evening ceremony, Africa's national team coaches voted Salah Africa's best once again ahead of Liverpool teammate Sadio Mane of Senegal.
Salah will undoubtedly be the face of Egypt's African Cup in June and July, but Egypt is facing the tough challenge of having just five months to prepare for the expanded 24-team finals, which will kick off in June.
"The political leadership offered its full support to host the AFCON (African Cup of Nations)," Egyptian Sports Minister Ashraf Sobhi said in a statement.
The Egyptian Football Federation hailed the decision on Twitter and said that Egypt was now "a safe country" to host such a big event.