The 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations-AFCON will be hosted by Cameroon across five cities in a 24-team tournament that will play out over four weeks, from Sunday 9 January to Sunday 6 February 2022.
Originally scheduled for June and July 2021, the tournament was rescheduled twice due to ‘unfavourable climatic conditions’ in the host nation and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest African stars in the world will be competing for their national teams. A number of fine Premier League players will be on show throughout the Africa Cup of Nations. Liverpool stars Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be the most prominent.
Egypt’s chances of success will be improved with the inclusion of Salah, who has scored 45 international goals in 71 appearances. Meanwhile, Senegal’s international scores throughout the competition will be improved with Mane in the squad, who has scored 25 international goals to date. Nigerian soccer chances will be improved with the inclusion of Kelechi Iheanacho. The Leicester striker has been in excellent form over the past 18 months, with his name constantly being on the scoresheet when studying football live scores today.
Further Premier League quality can be found in the Nigerian squad with Foxes teammate Wilfred Ndidi and Everton winger Alex Iwobi also likely to make the squad. Senegal will also have Champions League winner Edouard Mendy in their squad, while Naby Keita and Hakim Ziyech will be playing for Guinea and Morocco, respectively.
Arsenal captain Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will also have a part to play in the competition for Gabon, as they look to improve on their best performance in the Africa Cup of Nations when reaching the quarterfinals in 2012.
Then there’s Algeria who have an attacking line-up that’ll give defenders waking nightmares, led by Mahrez and West Ham winger Benrahma with Adam Ounas (Napoli, Italy) and Islam Slimani (Lyon, France) ones to watch too.
For many the reigning champs are top of the pile: Algeria have arguably the most complete team and lifted silverware in December at the FIFA Arab Cup in Qatar.
But in 2019 Algeria defeated Senegal by a single goal in the final, and now Koulibaly, Mane and co. are more motivated than ever to take that final step up to a first ever AFCON title.
Senegal have a stability brought by coach Aliou Cisse who’s been with The Lions since 2015, and during his tenure they have qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and made that AFCON final a couple of years ago.
Morocco too, a young hungry side are aiming for a first podium since 2004 when they were runners-up to Tunisia.
Comoros and the Gambia qualified for the first time, increasing to 44 the number of countries who have qualified for the premier African national team competition.
Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde
Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi
Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon
Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau
Group E: Algeria, Sierra-Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire
Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia
Road to Final
Group stage: from January 9 to 20, 2022
Round of 16: January 23-26, 2022
Quarter-finals: January 29 and 30, 2022
Semi-finals: February 2 and 3, 2022
Final: February 6, 2022