The Africa Cup of Nations draw took place on 12 April 2019. Footballing eyes are narrowing in on Egypt and the Africa Cup of Nations. Football fans around the world witnessed the participating 24 teams drawn into six groups of four teams. This summer sees Egypt welcome 24 teams, the biggest yet to feature on the Africa’s most prestigious tournament. Read on to discover all you need to know about the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. 21 June to 19 July will see de-facto nations battle it out on who will become the next champions of Africa.
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As a competition that supports and promotes nations and their football talents, it’s not surprising that the organising body has increased the number of participating teams from 16 to 24. This year, Burundi, Madagascar and Mauritania national teams will be making their debut to the Africa Cup of Nations. Which makes one wonder if these nations will have the easiest route to the knockout round?
CAF – the Confederation of African Football was formed in 1957 to govern and represent African Football. It hosts the Africa Cup of Nations tournament, a governing body with 54 member association and represents over 1 billion people worldwide. The first tournament was help in 1957 with only three participating nations; Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. This summer’s CAF Africa Cup of Nations, the 32nd edition of the tournament, features 24 teams. The number of participating was expanded from 16 to 24 on 20 July 2017, and the Africa Cup of Nations was moved from January to June.
The tournament will be played between 21 June to 19 July in Egypt. This year tournament dates were strategically set to allow Muslim players indulge the holy month of Ramadan. Also, the African European-based players will not need to miss club games, as club footballs would have been completed.
Multiple group games will be played in the same stadium on the same day, meaning football fans can make a day of it and enjoy back-to-back football. Click here to find out when and where the games are being played, as well as a full list of the fixture schedule.
The official tournament hosts are Egypt, the games will be across 6 stadiums including Cairo International Stadium, 30 June Stadium, Alexandria Stadium, Suez Stadium, Ismailia Stadium and Al Masry Club Stadium.
Opening Ceremony is at Cairo International Stadium on June 21, followed by Egypt vs Zimbabwe. The tournament closes at the Cairo International Stadium in Cairo, with the final and the closing ceremony.
Group A: Congo DR, Egypt, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Group B: Burundi, Guinea, Madagascar, Nigeria
Group C: Algeria, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania
Group D: Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Namibia, South Africa
Group E: Angola, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia
Group F: Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau
The winning team is presented with the African Cup of Nations’ Cup. The fixed amount of prize money to be awarded the teams is as follows:
- Champions: $4.5 million
- Runners-up: $2.5 million
- Semi-finalists: $2.0 million
- Quarter-finalists: $800,000
The hosts, Egypt is the only team to win it seven times, most recently in 2010. Cameroon are the current champions – their fifth title. Can Cameroon defend their title?
Who to look out for
Can Cameroon win back-to-back Africa Cup of Nations trophies?
As reigning champions, Cameroon are obviously a threat. Cameroon, the defending Africa Cup of Nations champion, is the odds-on favourite to retain its crown and hoist the trophy again.
Familiar faces expected to be there
Cameroon: Gaetong Bong (Brighton)
Ghana: Christian Atsu (Newcastle), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
Algeria: Riyad Mahrez (Man City)
Nigeria: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)
Kenya: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham)
Ivory Coast: Eric Bailly (Man Utd), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Guinea: Naby Keita (Liverpool)
Egypt: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Senegal: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
The Liverpool duo Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah shared the 2018-19 Premier League Golden Boot, scoring 22 goals each. Now, both faces a ton of pressure to repeat their club stunning performances on the national teams. Should any of them lead their team to win the tournament, that will further establish the said individual’s dominance on the world stage.