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AFCON 2019: 10 things you should know

By Vincent Ashitey
AFCON 2019: 10 things about the Africa Cup of Nation you should know
AFCON 2019: 10 things about the Africa Cup of Nation you should know
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 The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will be held in Egypt.

The tournament brings together the best 24 teams to compete for the title.

Below PrimeNewsGhana looks at 10 things about the 2019 Africa Cup of Nation you should know

1. Host country and duration

The 2019 AFCON continental football showpiece would be staged in Egypt. Egypt was confirmed as the host country in a 17-3 votes victory over South Africa after Confederation of African Football has stripped Cameroon of the hosting right due to slow preparations.

The competition will take place from June 21 to July 19, 2019, following the decision made by the CAF Executive Committee in June 2017 to move the Africa Cup of Nations from the January/February period to June/July for the first time.

2. Expansion of teams

This summer’s tournament which is the 32nd edition of the AFCON will see 24 teams instead of the formally 16 teams per the decision of the CAF Executive Commission to increase the teams at a meeting in Rabat, Morocco.

3. Format

At the finals of the competition, 24 teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams each. The teams in each group will then play in a single round robin format, and after the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third teams will advance to the round of 16.

The winners will advance to the quarter-finals stage, and from then on, progress to the semi-finals. The semi-final losers will contest a third-place match, while semi-final winners will advance to the final.

4. Group stage

The top two teams of each group, along with the best four third-placed teams, advance to the round of 16.

5. Previous winners
The Pharaohs of Egypt is the most successful team in the history of the AFCON having won it 7 times followed by Cameroon with 5, Ghana with 4, Nigeria 2, Ivory Coast and DR Congo 2 each.
Zambia, Tunisia, Sudan, Algeria, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa, Congo, and Mali have all won it once.

6. Qualified nations

Egypt, Tunisia, Madagascar, Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria, Uganda, Mali, Guinea, Algeria, Mauritania, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau, Namibia, Zimbabwe, DR Congo,  Benin, Tanzania, South Africa.

7. Venues

The Egypt Football Association (EFA) have named 6 venues for the new-look 24-team tournament. The venues include the Cairo International Stadium, Alexandria, Ismailia Stadium, Suez Stadium, Port Said Stadium and the 30 June Stadium.

8. Video Assistant Referee (VAR)

For the first time in the history of AFCON, VAR will be used at the tournament. The latest modern technology got the approval to be used at this year’s expanded 24-team competition after CAF vetoed of its use.`

9. Draw Date

The draw will take place on 12th April 2019 in Egypt.

The 24 teams will be seeded into 4 pots based on the CAF National Team rankings. The 24 teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams. The host Egypt will be seeded in Group A.

10. Prize Money

CAF in 2016 reviewed its prize for the AFCON. Formally winners were taking $1.5 million dollars but the new prize money sees an increase of 64% with the emerging winner walks away with a monetary value of $4 million dollars while the runners up will also pocket $2 million dollars.

Read also: 2019 AFCON Q: Black Stars end qualifiers on a high with 1-0 win over Kenya (VIDEO)