Nigeria and Benin have submitted a joint bid to stage the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, joining Algeria, Morocco and Zambia in having expressed an interest in hosting the finals.
The 2013 African champions are looking to stage for the third time, having co-hosted with Ghana in 2000 after being the sole organisers in 1980.
“Having completed all the processes, we submitted our bid before the Confederation of African Football (Caf) deadline of 16 December,” a top Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) official told BBC Sport Africa.
“The NFF will be sharing more information on the bid to stage the tournament in the coming weeks.”
Winners on home soil 42 years ago, Nigeria lost the 2000 Nations Cup final to Cameroon in a tournament generally considered to be controversial.
Hosts of the Under-20 World Cup in 1999, Nigeria last hosted a major tournament in 2009 when the Under-17 World Cup took place in the country.
Nonetheless, both Nigeria and Benin would appear to have work to do to convince the CAF inspection teams, set to tour bidding countries from 5 to 25 January next year, of their seriousness to replace Guinea.
Designated host Guinea was stripped of rights earlier this year because of concerns over infrastructure and facilities.
Some of the Criteria required by Africa’s football governing body CAF to stage the event includes a minimum of six stadiums, two of which must have a capacity of at last 40,000 while the other four need to be able to accommodate at least 20,000.
The successful candidate will be announced in February of 2023.
Writing by Tersoo Nicholas