Nigeria and Benin are likely to co-host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, according to Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick.
Guinea have been awarded the hosting rights for that year’s edition, however, the NFF boss disclosed that Caf is on course to withdraw the hosting right from the West African country.
With that in the pipeline, Nigeria is working on a bid with the fellow West Africans.
“We are putting a bid together for a co-hosting of the tournament with the Benin Republic,” Pinnick told the media on Tuesday per Completesports.
“The Minister of Sports has given his endorsement on the bidding.
“It is high time Nigeria hosted an international tournament because there are many advantages attached to hosting of such competitions.
“There are many countries bidding for the competition; we are confident of getting the nod from Caf.
“We are working with the ministry of sports to ensure that Nigeria gets the hosting right.”
Since the inception of the African football fiesta, Nigeria have hosted the rest of the continent on two occasions.
The first time was in 1980. There, Otta Gloria’s Green Eagles silenced Algeria 3-0 in the final played at the National Stadium Lagos – with legendary Segun Odegbami bagging a brace while Muda Lawal got the third goal.
The second time was in 2000 when the country co-hosted with Ghana after Zimbabwe was sidelined by Caf for non-compliance with the tournament’s specifications.
Again, the Super Eagles reached the final but bowed 4-3 on penalties to Cameroon after the game ended 2-2 after 120 minutes.
Should Caf approve this hosting rights, it would mean that Benin would be welcoming the rest of Africa for the first time in their history.
The Squirrels have participated in Afcon on four occasions since their debut at Tunisia 2004 – with their best finish a quarter-final finish at the 2019 edition staged in Cameroon.
Recently, Caf confirmed the 2023 Afcon will be delayed from a summer staging to the start of 2024 amid concerns over weather conditions in Cote d’Ivoire.
The move to shift the tournament is not the first time that Caf has been forced to readjust its plans, with this year’s iteration forced onwards by the Covid-19 pandemic from its original date of 2021.