The 32nd edition of the Confederation of African Football Cup of Nations 2019 kicks-off this Friday (June 21st ) with host nation Egypt facing Zimbabwe in Cairo. The tournament will be staged in the cities of Suez, Ismalia, Alexandria and three grounds in the capital Cairo with the final taking place on July 14 at the 75,000 capacity Cairo International Stadium.
Groups, teams and fixture
24 teams will participate in the competition with three sides making their debut at an Africa Cup of Nations tournament: Mauritania, Burundi and Madagascar.
Group A: Egypt, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Uganda
Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Burundi and Madagascar
Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Tanzania and Kenya
Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, Namibia and South Africa
Group E: Tunisia, Angola, Mauritania and Mali
Group F: Ghana, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau and Benin
16 sides will progress to the next stage with with the top two sides from each group being joined by four of the best third placed sides.
Host nation Egypt start as one of the leading favourites to lift the trophy in mid July with all local hopes deposited on Liverpool Champions League winner Mo Salah.
The “Egyptian King” will be assisted by captain El Mohamady who helped Aston Villa secure Premier League status.
Second favourites Ghana will inevitably look to add to their four CAN wins (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982) with the “Black Stars” to be captained by Andre Ayew.
The tournament will see the return of Asamoah Gyan who originally quit the national team over the captaincy issue, only to reverse his decision after speaking to the country’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo.