Morocco and South Africa are ready to step in after Confederation of African football stripped Cameroon of the 2019 African Cup of Nations hosting rights.
CAF cited insecurity and inadequate facilities as reason for shopping for a new host for the new 24 team format tournament billed for June 15 – July 3.
Morocco, who lost out to a United States/Mexico/Canada bid to host the 2026 World Cup, have regularly been reported as possible replacements.
The North Africans had been set to stage the 2015 Cup of Nations before being stripped of its hosting rights in a row over the Ebola outbreak.
South Africa is the only African country to stage a World Cup, in 2010, and last staged the Cup of Nations in 2013.
“I know that there are countries which are interested, rest assured, candidate countries will come forward,” said Ahmad Ahmad, CAF President.
“We know there won’t be many (new candidates) but we will leave the task force to evaluate them and to set up visits in order to select the organisers of the CAN by the end of the year”.
CAF inspectors recently travelled to the country, which last hosted the tournament in 1972, to check security, infrastructure, stadiums and accommodation.
Cameroon is experiencing a tense security situation with persistent attacks by Boko Haram jihadists in the north and a conflict between the army and separatists in the two English-speaking regions.
That recalls the trauma that preceded the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola, when the Togo team bus was attacked with three dead two days before the opening match.