The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off in Egypt today, Friday, June 21. The game sponsored by Total, will run till July 19, 2019, with the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon as defending champions.
This year’s edition is the 32nd edition of the championship. It is the first time the biennial tournament is being held in summer – June/July. Unlike other continental tournaments such as the Euro, Copa America and even the World Cup, it used to be held in January/February.
It will also be the first AFCON expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
Cameroon, initially billed to host the games, lost the right to Egypt, due to tardiness in setting up infrastructure, Boko Haram insurgency and the Anglophone crisis, ravaging the country. CAF subsequently chose Egypt as host.
Prize money distribution for participating nations is as follows:
Winner – $4.5 million
Runner-Up – $2.5 million
Semi-finalists – $2 million
Quarter-finalists – $800,000
Since its maiden edition in 1957, Egypt has won the tournament seven times.
Below are how the past winners stand:
- Egypt – 7 titles (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)
- Cameroon – 5 titles (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017)
- Ghana – 4 titles (1963, 1965, 1975, 1982)
- Nigeria – 3 titles (1980, 1994, 2013)
- Ivory Coast – 2 titles (1992, 2015)
- DR Congo – 2 titles (1968, 1974)
Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa and Zambia have each clinched the AFCON title once (1980, 1976, 2004, 1962, 1970, 1996, 2012 respectively).
Participating nations will be aiming to increase their tallies in the 2019 edition.
Participting team in Egypt 2019
Qualifying for round of 16
The top two teams of each group, along with the best four third-placed teams (best losers) advance to the round of 16.
Below is an example:
Super Eagles team list to the tournament
Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho (Anorthosis Famagusta, Cyprus); Ikechukwu Ezenwa (Katsina United); Daniel Akpeyi (Kaizer Chiefs, South Africa)
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina (Torino FC, Italy); Abdullahi Shehu (Bursaspor FC, Turkey); Chidozie Awaziem (Caykur Rizespor, Turkey); William Ekong (Udinese FC, Italy); Leon Balogun (Brighton & Hove Albion, England); Kenneth Omeruo (CD Leganes, Spain); Jamilu Collins (SC Padeborn 07, Germany)
Midfielders: Mikel John Obi (Middlesbrough FC, England); Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester City, England); Oghenekaro Etebo (Stoke City FC, England); John Ogu (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel)
Forwards: Ahmed Musa (Al Nassar FC, Saudi Arabia); Victor Osimhen (Royal Charleroi SC, Belgium); Moses Simon (Levante FC, Spain); Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray SK, Turkey); Odion Ighalo (Shanghai Shenhua, China); Alexander Iwobi (Arsenal FC, England); Samuel Kalu (Girondins Bordeaux, France); Paul Onuachu (FC Midtjyland, Denmark); Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal FC, Spain)