The draw for the Africa Cup of Nations 2019 has been revealed. The tournament which will be hosted by Egypt.
The full draw
Group A: Egypt, DR Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe
Group B: Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi
Group C: Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania
Group D: Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia
Group E: Tunisia,Mali, Mauritania, Angola
Group F: Cameroon,Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau
What is the format of the Africa Cup of Nations?
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.
What is the Africa Cup of Nations?
The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the biennial international men’s football championship of Africa organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).
This summer’s tournament will be the 32nd edition of the competition and it will be the first Africa Cup of Nations where the competition format has been expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
It will take place from June 15, 2019, to July 13, 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.
This means that European-based players intending to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations with their country will not be forced to take leave of their club duties during January and February, as had been the case in previous seasons.
It is good news for fans of the Premier League as players such as Sadio Mane (Senegal), Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) will not be withdrawn from club duty mid-season with Liverpool and Manchester City, respectively.
Previous Africa Cup of Nations winners
Cameroon are defending champions after winning their fifth title in 2017 against Egypt in the final, triumphing 2-1 courtesy of goals from Nikolas Nkoulou and Vincent Aboukabar.
The Pharaohs have won the competition the most times, having been victors on a record seven occasions, but have not won the tournament since 2010 when they defeated Ghana in the final.
Ivory Coast were victors of the 2015 edition, with Nigeria and Zambia having won the 2013 and 2011 tournaments respectively.
Premier League stars in Salah, Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mahrez all featured in the 2017 tournament, with all four bagging two goals apiece.
Congolese striker Junior Kabananga won the award for the competition’s top-scorer, and Cameroonian Christian Bassogog was awarded the honour of the tournament’s best-performing player.
Which Premier League players could be there?
Egypt: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)
Senegal: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace)
Morocco: Romain Saiss (Wolves)
Nigeria: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)
Algeria: Riyad Mahrez (Man City)
Ivory Coast: Serge Aurier (Tottenham), Eric Bailly (Man Utd), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Kenya: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham)
Ghana: Christian Atsu (Newcastle), Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)
Cameroon: Gaetong Bong (Brighton), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham)
DR Congo: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham)
Benin: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield)
Guinea: Naby Keita (Liverpool)