Morocco will not bid to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, leaving South Africa as the favourites to host the prestigious tournament.
The North African nation had been tipped as a replacement for Cameroon, who were stripped of the hosting rights last month due to poor preparations.
“Morocco did not intend to run for the 2019 African Cup of Nations and will not do so,” Minister of Youth and Sport Rachid Talbi Alami told AFP.
South Africa are now overwhelming favourites to host the continental showpiece but may face competition from Egypt if their previous statement is anything to go by.
Interested parties have until 22:00 GMT on Friday to make an official bid for the 2019 finals which will be the first to feature 24 teams, rather than 16, and be held in June/July, as opposed to its traditional January/February slot.
The official announcement of the winning bid will be made by CAF on 7 January.