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Venues named for 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco

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Supporters watch Athletico Madrid play Raja de Casablanca Tangier stadium on April 26, 2011 (AFP/Archives)

Moroccan cities Agadir , Marrakech, Rabat and Tangier will host the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, the organisers confirmed Wednesday.

Casablanca, the city with the biggest stadium in the north African kingdom, is the 'reserve' venue for the biennial African football showcase.

Tangier, capital Rabat and Agadir are coastal cities and Marrakech is in the centre of a country hosting the Cup of Nations for the second time.

Rabat and Casablanca staged the eight-nation 1988 tournament, notable for its dearth of goals and won by Cameroon.

The tournament has expanded to 16 countries, divided into four groups with the winners and runners-up of each advancing to the quarter-finals.

Automatic participants Morocco will stage the tournament from January 17 to February 7, 2015, according to the Confederation of African Football.

A two-leg preliminary round next July and August will trim the eliminators' field to 48 nations, and they play two rounds each during September, October and November.

The 12 group winners and the best three runners-up secure places at a tournament, whose last edition in South Africa this year was won by Nigeria.