2019 Africa Cup of Nations
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations features 24 teams for the first time. 51 teams entered the qualification and near half have made to the tournament. It will be held in Egypt from June 21st to to July 19th. Cameroon were initially awarded the 32nd edition but due to political and infrastructure problems were stripped and the dates were also pushed back from a June 13th start due to the holy muslim month of Ramadan.
As with every edition of the Cup controversy and lack of organization is a problem. Egypt do have the stadiums and are well suited to host, all despite the violence that has been rife in their stadiums in the recent past. Sierra Leone were disqualified after FIFA for the usual ‘government interference’ reasons. In part due to that disqualification Ghana and Kenya found an easier path to Egypt.
Twelve groups of four competed with top two of each group qualifying. The 51 teams had been reduced to the 48 after a mini preliminary round led to the exit of Sao Tome and Principe, Mauritius and Djibouti at the hands of Madagascar, Comoros and South Sudan respectively. Somewhat surprisingly Madagascar have qualified for the final tournament after finishing second in a group that included Equatorial Guinea and Sudan.
The full list of qualified teams is not all that surprising and although some groups threatened upsets – for example at one point South Africa tied Libya and the Seychelles to put qualification a bit in doubt – none really occurred.
The 24 teams are divided into four pots based on their African Confederation (CAF) rankings. Six groups of four will play, top two of each group plus the four best third placed teams will qualify for the round of 16. The draw will take place on April 12 in Cairo, Egypt.
| Morocco |
| Uganda |