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By ESPN Staff

Egypt withdraw as tournament hosts

Egypt have cancelled plans to host the inaugural African Under-23 Championship due to security concerns, just six weeks before the tournament is due to begin.

The competition is designed to decide the continent's representatives at next year's London Olympics but the clash of dates with planned Parliamentary elections on November 28 have sparked safety fears.

Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Senegal, South Africa and former Olympic gold medal winners Nigeria are the nations in contention for places at London 2012.

The top three finishers will secure a place at the men's football tournament at the Games, with the fourth-placed side playing off against an Asian country for potential qualification.

The Confederation of African Football's Heba Abdallah said: "We received an official letter from the Egyptian federation, and it has been a day only, so nothing has been confirmed on the new hosts for the tournament.

"Nigeria and Algeria were initially interested in hosting the tournament, and as it stands, we don't know if they are still interested in hosting at short notice. We will be waiting for a reply from both countries. At the moment, we are hoping so."

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