The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon will have 24 teams instead of 16, and it will be staged in June/July as against the traditional January/February.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the expansion of the tournament on Thursday following a two – day symposium in Rabat, Morocco.
The June-July calender brings the tournament at par with the European football calendar.
The tournament will remain every two years, rather than switch to every four years, as was being proposed.
The symposium has also led to changes elsewhere in the continental game; inter-club competitions will shift to an August-May calendar – again a move which aligns the African game with the European calendar – having previously been played within a single calendar year.
There will now be regional qualifiers for age-grade Nations Cups – a move which will doubtless affect West African hegemony of the tournament – while CAF have also vowed to improve international partnerships and strengthen relationships between the confederations, each national association, governments and the African Union.
CAF also promised to endorse “the principle of creating a framework for cooperation with legendary African footballers and their greater involvement in CAF activities.”