The 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on June 21, 2019 and will be hosted in six stadia across four cities in Egypt with the final scheduled to take place on Friday July 19, 2019 at the Cairo International Stadium.
The 32nd edition of the CAF Total African Cup of Nations kicks-off this Friday June 21, 2019 with host nation Egypt taking on Zimbabwe at the Cairo International stadium. The tournament will be staged in cities of Cairo, Suez, Alexandria and Ismailia with final taking place on July 19, 2019 at the iconic Cairo International Stadium.
|Stadium||City||Capacity||Date of construction||Group to be hosted|
|Cairo International Stadium||Cairo||74,000||1960||Group A (Egypt, DRC, Uganda and Zimbabwe)|
|30 June Stadium||Cairo||30,000||2012||Group C (Algeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania)|
|Al Salam Stadium||Cairo||30,000||2009||Group D (Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia)|
|Alexandria Stadium||Alexandria||20,000||1929||Group B (Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi)|
|Suez Stadium||Suez||27,000||1990||Group E ( Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali and Angola)|
|Ismailia Stadium||Ismailia||18,000||1947||Group F (Cameroon, Ghana, Benin and Guinea-Bissau)|
For the first time ever in the history of the competition, 24 teams will participate in the tournament. The 24 teams have been divided into six groups:
Group A: Egypt, DRC, Uganda and Zimbabwe
Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi
Group C: Algeria, Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania
Group D: Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa and Namibia
Group E: Tunisia, Mauritania, Mali and Angola
Group F: Cameroon, Ghana, Benin and Guinea-Bissau
The top two teams in each group will automatically qualify for the Round of 16 and four of the best third placed team in the groups will join them to complete the 16 teams to progress to the quarter-final.
African Cup of Nations 2019 Schedule
|Group stage||June 21- July 2|
|Eighth-finals||July 5- July 8|
|Quarter-finals||July 10- July 11|
|Third-place play-off||July 17|
Full fixture in Group stage
Group A Fixtures
|Friday, June 21||Egypt-Zimbabwe||21:00||Cairo International Stadium|
|Saturday, June 22||DRC-Uganda||15:30||Cairo International Stadium|
|Wednesday, June 26||Uganda- Zimbabwe||18:00||Cairo International Stadium|
|Wednesday, June 26||Egypt- DRC||21:00||Cairo International Stadium|
|Sunday, June 30||Zimbabwe- DRC||20:00||30 June Stadium|
|Sunday, June 30||Egypt-Uganda||20:00||Cairo International Stadium|
Group B Fixtures
|Saturday, June 22||Nigeria – Burundi||18:00||Alexandria Stadium|
|Saturday, June 22||Guinea – Madagascar||21:00||Alexandria Stadium|
|Wednesday, June 26||Nigeria – Guinea||15:30||Alexandria Stadium|
|Thursday, June 27||Madagascar – Burundi||15:30||Alexandria Stadium|
|Sunday, June 30||Burundi – Guinea||17:00||Al- Salam Stadium|
|Sunday, June 30||Madagascar – Nigeria||17:00||Alexandria Stadium|
Group C Fixtures
|Sunday, June 23||Senegal – Tanzania||18:00||30 June Stadium|
|Sunday, June 23||Algeria – Kenya||21:00||30 June Stadium|
|Thursday, June 27||Senegal – Algeria||18:00||30 June Stadium|
|Thursday, June 27||Kenya – Tanzania||21:00||30 June Stadium|
|Monday, July 1||Tanzania – Algeria||20:00||Al- Salam Stadium|
|Monday, July 1||Kenya – Senegal||20:00||30 June Stadium|
Group D Fixtures
|Sunday, June 23||Morocco – Namibia||15:30||Al-Salam Stadium|
|Monday, June 24||Cote d’Ivoire – South Africa||15:30||Al-Salam Stadium|
|Friday, June 28||Morocco – Cote d’Ivoire||18:00||Al-Salam Stadium|
|Friday, June 28||South Africa – Namibia||21:00||Al-Salam Stadium|
|Monday, July 1||Namibia – Cote d’Ivoire||17:00||30 June Stadium|
|Monday, July 1||South Africa – Morocco||17:00||Al-Salam Stadium|
Group E Fixtures
|Monday, June 24||Tunisia – Angola||18:00||Suez Stadium|
|Monday, June 24||Mali – Mauritania||21:00||Suez Stadium|
|Friday, June 28||Tunisia – Mali||15:30||Suez Stadium|
|Saturday, June 29||Mauritania – Angola||15:30||Suez Stadium|
|Tuesday, July 2||Angola – Mali||20:00||Ismailia Stadium|
|Tuesday, July 2||Mauritania – Tunisia||20:00||Suez Stadium|
Group F Fixtures
|Tuesday, June 25||Cameroon – Guinea-Bissau||18:00||Ismailia Stadium|
|Tuesday, June 25||Ghana – Benin||21:00||Ismailia Stadium|
|Saturday, June 29||Cameroon – Ghana||18:00||Ismailia Stadium|
|Saturday, June 29||Benin – Guinea-Bissau||21:00||Ismailia Stadium|
|Tuesday, July 2||Guinea-Bissau – Ghana||17:00||Suez Stadium|
|Tuesday, July 2||Benin – Cameroon||17:00||Ismailia Stadium|
Must-see days and games
18:00 Thursday June 27, Senegal vs Algeria, Group C (CAT)
This is a game of potential winners between tournament’s favourites Senegal and Algeria. Algeria hosted and lifted the trophy in 1990, since then, a succession of very talented generations Algerian players have tried to no avail to grab that elusive second Afcon trophy for the Desert Foxes. Algeria’s 43 year old coach Djamel Belmadi who played in the competition in 2004 has a very good team with players like Riyad-Mahrez, Remi Bensebaini, Yacine Brahimi and Youcef Attal, who can challenge for the title.
Senegal are the tournaments overwhelming favourites. The Teranga Lions have made some great stides under former captain Aliou Cisse who has been in-charge of the team since 2015. They are yet to win the trophy and to many observers this is their golden opportunity. Sadio Mane, Isamila Sarr, Idrissa Gueye, Mbaye Niang, Kalilou Koulibaly…are amongst the best Africa can boast of right now.
Senegal will be making their 15th appearance in the tournament while Algeria will be playing the competition for the 18th time.
This is therefore a game of heavy weights and a must watch game in the competition.
18:00 Friday June 28, Morocco vs Cote d’Ivoire, Group D (CAT)
The meeting at the Al-Salam stadium between two time winners Cote d’Ivoire and 1976 champions Morocco will produce another game of top dogs at the Al-Salam Stadium.
Morocco under the tutelage of the only coach to have lifted the trophy with two different countries (Herve Renard) will fancy their chances of going all the way. They produced an honorable display in 2018 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Renard can depend on the leadership of Mehdi Bennatia, the pace and trickery of Hakim Ziyech, the fine football brains of Achraf Hakimi and Younes Belhanda and the goal scoring touch of Youssef El-Nesyri.
1992 and 2015 winners Cote d’Ivoire have been amongst Africa’s top teams for over a decade now. The Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure led golden generation has made way for another exciting group of players. Nicolas Pepe, Maxwel Cornet, Eric Bailly, Max Alain Grandel and the rest will be a handful even for the best.
This fixture promises fireworks.
18:00 Saturday June 29, Cameroon vs Ghana, Group F (CAT)
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and the Black Stars of Ghana have nine Afcon trophies between them. Despite their rich history in the competition, the last time Ghana lifted the trophy was in 1982. Cameroon on their part are entering the competition as the defending champions after winning a fifth title in Gabon in 2017. Only Egypt has won more titles than Cameroon.
Ghana’s coach James Kwesi Appiah will hope that the Ayew brothers, that is captain Dede and his brother Jordan will inspire Ghana and end their long wait for a fifth Afcon trophy.
Cameroon on their part will be travelling to Egypt with 10 out of 23 players who won the trophy in Gabon with some key players missing the call for different reasons. 2017 captain Benjamin Moukandjo and defender Nicolas Nkoulou who scored in the final have both turned their backs on the national team while winning goal scorer in the last final Aboubacar Vincent is still injured. However, Cameroon will still be among the teams to make a strong claim for the title.
This clash of old timers and multiple times former winners of the competition is therefore another mouth watering tie.
15:30 Friday June 28, Tunisia vs Mali, Group E (CAT)
2004 champions Tunisia will be playing against the Eagles of Mali who are yet to lift the trophy in their 10 previous attempts. The Cartage Eagles will be playing the competition for a 19th time and will be expecting Wahbi Khazri and Niam Sliti to inspire them to a second trophy.
Mali on their part, under Mohamed Magassouba who has a coaching experience of close to 40 years are very serious outsiders and might build from the momentum generated from the success of their national teams at the youth categories. Their preparations might have been disturbed by that potential FIFA ban; fortunately for them, they have that behind them now.
Host nation Egypt are favourites to lift the trophy and add to the seven they have to their name already. Their Mexican coach Javier Aguirre will be hoping that the partisan home crowd will push Mohamed Salah and his teammates who set the ball rolling against the Warriors of Zimbabwe on Friday June 21, 2019 at the Cairo International stadium.
Egypt’s quest for an eighth Afcon trophy will seriously be challenged by second favourites Senegal who will be counting on Sadio Mane to finally lead them to continental glory.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will be the third team to fear in the competition, coming in as defending champions and they have a good mastery of the tournament. They lack any standout star players but they are always a force to reckon with in the competition.
The outsiders are Morocco, Tunisia, Mali, Nigeria and Ghana.
The 2019 African Cup of Nations promises huge entertainment, with 11 of the 23 countries present in the tournament giving a chance to their nationals to coach them in the tournament. In the 2017 edition, only three out of sixteen teams were coached by their nationals.
Nigeria’s Emmanuel Amuneke who will lead the Taifa Stars of Tanzania after a 39 years absence from the competition will be the only African coach in charge of a foreign national team in the competition.
As usual France with seven coaches will be the country with the most coaches in the tournament. Mexico, Holland, Germany, Serbia and England all have a coach each in the tournament.
African Cup of Nations most winners list by region (Federation)
Fourteen African countries have lifted the trophy in 31 editions and they are distributed according to regions as follows:
|UNAF (North Africa)||Egypt (7), Algeria (1), Morocco (1), Tunisia (1)||10 titles|
|WAFU (West Africa)||Ghana (4), Nigeria (3), Ivory Coast (2)||9 titles|
|UNIFFAC (Central Africa)||Cameroon (5), Congo DR (2), Congo (1)||8 titles|
|CECAFA (East Africa)||Ethiopia (1), Sudan (1)||2 titles|
|COSAFA (Southern Africa)||South Africa (1), Zambia (1)||2 titles|
North Africa (UNAF) has 10 AFCON titles to their name making it the most successful federation in the tournament. West Africa (WAFU) and Central Africa (UNIFFAC) come second and third with 9 and 8 AFCON titles respectively.
The decision to move the Africa Cup of Nations to the summer (June 21-July 19), with no competing club interests and no other major international tournament running alongside it from the quarterfinal stage onward, implies that the competition might be watched more than ever before across the world by football lovers and it will have enough big-name players capable of attracting them and keeping them spell bound till the end.
It is more than ever before Africa’s opportunity to bring its show to the centre of the football stage for the rest of the world to seat back and enjoy.