CAIRO, Egypt — Morocco being picked Wednesday to host soccer’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2025 was expected.

It was a surprise, however, that the 2027 tournament was awarded to East African neighbors Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania when its bid rivals included soccer powers Senegal and Egypt.

The Confederation of African Football’s president Patrice Motsepe announced the winners after votes by its executive committee.

Morocco was heavily favored to get the 2025 AFCON, when the 2022 World Cup semifinalist is also currently part of an innovative Europe-led joint bid for the 2030 tournament with Spain and Portugal, and possibly Ukraine.

Morocco’s bid opponents were a Benin-Nigeria co-host plan and Zambia after Algeria this week withdrew its candidacy from both the 2025 and ’27 contests. Guinea previously was picked for 2025 but was stripped of hosting by CAF.

East Africa has not staged the biennial tournament since Ethiopia was the 1976 host.

The delayed 2023 edition of the 24-team tournament kicks off in January in Ivory Coast.

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