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By ESPN Staff

Angola favoured in race to host 2010 Nations Cup

JOHANNESBURG, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Angola are regarded as slight favourites to win hosting rights for the 2010 African Nations Cup finals when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) convene to make their decision in Cairo on Monday.

Angola, surprise qualifiers for this year's World Cup finals in Germany, are seeking to become the first Portuguese-speaking country to host Africa's biennial championship.

The first-time finalists in Germany face stiff competition, however, from Libya, Nigeria and a joint bid from Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Both Libya and Nigeria have previously hosted the tournament.

CAF's 13-man executive committee will hear final presentations from the candidates on Monday and are scheduled to take an immediate vote before announcing the winning bid at 1645GMT.

Angola have promised to build four stadiums across the diamond and oil-rich southern African nation if they win the right to host the tournament.

The ploy follows the philosophy of CAF president Issa Hayatou, who believes that awarding the tournament to a country without established infrastructure forces the government to build facilities that remain at the disposal of soccer long after the event has ended.

The 2010 Nations Cup holds special significance because it takes palce six months before the continent's first hosting of the World Cup in South Africa.

Nigeria are also expected to make a strong push for a third hosting of a tournament after the nation held the event in 1959 and 2000.

Libya are bidding for a fourth successive time, having lost out to Tunisia (2004), Egypt (2006) and Ghana, who host the next nations Cup finals in 2008.

The bid by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, two countries also flush from oil revenues, has proposed two venues in each country -- Bata and Malabo in the former Spanish colony and Libreville and Port Gentil in Gabon.

Last month, the CAF sent an inspection team, including FIFA officials, on a 20-day fact-finding tour of the five countries and their evaluation report will also be considered, although it is not binding on the voting of the members.