Both countries are hoping to be replacement hosts after the tournament was stripped from Cameroon two weeks ago.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed on Saturday that South Africa and Egypt are the only two countries in line to take over the hosting of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which was stripped from Cameroon two weeks ago.
Now CAF will have to choose between two countries with long-established football infrastructures.
It had been assumed that Morocco would step in to become hosts, as 18 months ago they said that they were ready to organise the showpiece if Cameroon were found incapable of doing so.
CAF is due to make a final decision on 9 January.
South Africa made the Friday night deadline and submitted a bid to be replacement hosts for next June's Afcon tournament. South Africa and Egypt are the two countries now in line to take over the hosting of the tournament. Caf will make a decision on 9 January. pic.twitter.com/mEZd0cGTUX— SportAfrican (@sportafrican1) 15 December 2018
Egypt or South Africa?
Egypt’s bid has logistical advantages for CAF, as the governing body is based in the Egyptian capital Cairo.
The North African country is the powerhouse of the Cup of Nations, with its national team's seven titles making it the competition's most decorated side.
However, Egypt’s political turmoil might work against the bid to host the tournament. Ever since the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak, the country has experienced violence and upheaval.
South Africa is considered the country with the best infrastructure in the continent and hosted Africa’s only World Cup in 2010.
The South African Football Association had previously said that CAF had approached it to host the 2019 showpiece, suggesting Africa’s most developed economy is the preferred choice for the organisers.
South Africa stepped in as hosts for war-torn Libya back in 2013. However, it’s not the only country that has stepped in for another one, as Equatorial Guinea replaced Morocco in 2015 and Gabon stood in for Libya in 2017, which again couldn’t host the Africa Cup of Nations.