Rabat, July 24 (IANS) Morocco will host the 2019 African Games after Equatorial Guinea’s withdrawal, the Moroccan Youth and Sports Ministry has announced.
Equatorial Guinea, which had been selected in 2016 to host the multi-sport event announced in November 2017 that it would no longer be able to organise the Games citing economic problems, reports Xinhua news agency.
The officials from the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa visited Morocco earlier this month.
According to the Moroccan Youth and Sports Ministry on Monday, the decision was taken on the proposal of the African Union (AU) and the Moroccan National Olympic Committee.
It added that the AU and the Games’ organizing committee considered that the North African kingdom has all the necessary conditions and expertise for staging an international sports event of this size.
It noted that this major continental event will gather more than 5,000 athletes, who will compete in the Olympic and non-Olympic Games.
The Games will have a badge of qualifiers for the Olympic Games and the best performers in various disciplines will book their tickets for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The African Games were first held in 1965 in Congo. After a period of changing calendar, the Games have been quadrennial since 1987.