The anticipated 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) competition premieres this June through the successful completion of the teams' qualification stages. As the 32nd edition of the men’s football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), a total of 24 African teams are set to battle out in what is termed as the greatest AFCON tournament of the century.
With the African Nations Cup tables out and fixture dates set, the world will be changing focus to the host country Egypt, where AFCON 2019 will be taking place. Do not miss a single fixture as we present to you all the latest news concerning the qualified African teams, match tables, and all the game schedules.
When does AFCON 2019 start?
Mark your calendars on Friday 21st June 2019, which happens to be the official kick-off date for the group stage tournaments in Egypt. The competition will run for 28 days (4 weeks) and end on Friday 19th July. The best part of this year’s Africa Cup of Nations is that it does not interfere with the schedule of international players, who play for the different Europa Premier League clubs.
Unlike the previous AFCON dates that clashed with EPL games, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee decision on 20th July 2017 moved the dates from 15th June 2019 – 13th July 2019 to the current dates. This was in respect to the 2019 Ramadan celebrations. The change of dates was in resonance with the host country Egypt and other Muslim players who observe Ramadan as a holy month.
Did you know that Cameroon was the intended country to host the African Cup of Nations 2019? According to a statement, CAF said Cameroon lost the hosting rights to Egypt given to their under-preparedness for the international tournament.
Countries that qualified for AFCON
This year's AFCON is considered as one of the most significant competition as it involves new teams making their debut. Unlike the previous tournament that was held in Gabon 2017, three new African teams join the championship hence marking a milestone in the history of the competition. These include Mauritania, Madagascar, and Burundi. Furthermore, this year will witness a total of 24 teams, an increase from the past 16 participating teams. The qualified teams include:
Teams to watch out for
Out of the 24 teams, all eyes will be on the three new teams, namely Burundi, Madagascar, and Mauritania. In comparison to the last 2017 AFCON results, Cameroon, who are the defending champions, are recorded to have taken the cup 5 times, are sure to put great defence as they try to retain the championship. Furthermore, Egypt, which happens to have home advantage, is ranked as the most experienced team in the competition. This is given to their historical record of taking the title 7 times with 2010 marking their 7th victory.
AFCON players to watch out for
Some of the greatest EPL players will be reuniting with their home teams to try and share their experiences during tournaments. From the host country of Egypt, we have Liverpool’s striker Mohamed Salah and Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny. From Liverpool, we also have Sadio Mane, who will be playing for his home team Senegal alongside Idrissa Gueye of Everton, and Crystal Palace player Cheikhou Kouyate. The Kenyan team is also expecting support from their experienced player Victor Wanyama, who plays for Tottenham. Other teams will also have the added advantage of the numerous EPL and Europa League players joining their squads.
The AFCON schedule Group Stages
Below is a list of six group teams from A to F ranked according to their performances:
- Group A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe
- Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, and Burundi
- Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, and Tanzania
- Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, and Namibia
- Group E: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, and Angola
- Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin, and Guinea-Bissau
Africa Cup of Nations fixtures
Below are fixture tables from group A to F
Group A Fixtures
Group B Fixtures
Group C Fixtures
Group D Fixtures
Group E Fixtures
Group F Fixtures
With Egypt, commonly known as “The Pharaohs” hosting the 2019 AFCON championship, all football fanatics have a reason to smile for the 28 days of nothing but the best of African soccer. The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) starts this June, and it will see a total of 24 African teams with three teams making their debut. Let us count down on the few remaining hours as we wait to see the beautiful African football and cheer our favourite teams.