Next year's CAF Africa Cup of Nations champions will be crowned in Soccer City, the same calabash-inspired Johannesburg stadium as the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ winners, sport minister Fikile Mbalula has announced.
"We will host the opening and closing ceremonies in Johannesburg," said Mbalula, ending a long period of speculation over the announcement. The other four host cities will be Rustenburg, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth and Durban.
Noteably absent is Cape Town, whose landmark seafront stadium was built for the FIFA World Cup. Mbalula said location was the deciding factor. "Rather than using the whole of the republic we have reduced to a total number of about four, five stadiums so that they are close to each other."
The venue for the final was built for the FIFA World Cup two years ago with 94,700 seats, and is covered in clay-coloured panels inspired by the calabash gourd used widely as a pot across Africa.