Africa Cup of Nations expands to 24 teams for 2019

The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration...

African Cup of Nations (AFCON)

The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday.

The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season.

The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil.

2017 African Football SymposiumThe proposal for the changes were made at the 2017 African Football Symposium (Twitter/CAF)

The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at Euro 2016 in France.

The advantage would be more teams exposed to top-level competition and the disadvantage a dilution of the qualifying competition with virtually one in every two teams qualifying.

The expansion of the African competition could also reduce the number of countries capable of staging the event, with 2019 hosts Cameroon already behind schedule and facing the prospect of having to pull out.

Algeria and Morocco, who were disqualified from the 2015 edition after refusing to host it due to fears about the Ebola virus, would reportedly be interested in taking over.

With at least six stadiums needed instead of four, another option would be to permit multiple countries to co-host the tournament.

Madagascar’s Ahmad Ahmad scored a shock CAF presidential triumph over long-serving Cameroonian Issa Hayatou in March and vowed to thoroughly review African football.

Ahmad Ahmad Ahmad Ahmad (AFP/File)

Hayatou consistently rejected suggestions of a move to June, saying the weather then was too hot in northern Africa, too wet in the west and centre and too cold in the south.

But his view was as much about not bowing to pressure from Europe as climatic conditions because African national teams and clubs play regularly during June without adverse effects.

The decision taken by several players to turn down call-ups for their national team has swayed Ahmad’s mind toward change.

Liverpool defender Joel Matip was one of seven Cameroon players who refused to be considered for selection, saying their club careers were more important than national duty.

Cameroon remarkably still went on to win the tournament as they beat Egypt 2-1 in the final, lifting the trophy for a fifth time.

Qualifying for the 2019 edition is already underway, with 48 teams competing across 12 groups for a place at the finals.

You might also like More from author

12 Comments

  1. tinder dating site free says

    What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious knowledge on the topic of unpredicted feelings.

  2. tinder dating site says

    I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also
    with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.

  3. tinder dating says

    Hi! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 3gs!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the fantastic work!

  4. tinder dating site free says

    Hey there superb blog! Does running a blog such as this require a great
    deal of work? I have very little knowledge of programming
    but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyway, should you have any recommendations or tips for
    new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply needed to ask.

    Appreciate it!

  5. tinyurl.com says

    I am sure this paragraph has touched all the internet users, its really
    really pleasant article on building up new webpage.

  6. http://tinyurl.com/ says

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything.
    Nevertheless think of if you added some great photos
    or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and clips, this site could undeniably be one of the
    greatest in its field. Good blog!

  7. tinyurl.com says

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a top notch article… but what can I
    say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

  8. instacart coupon august 2017 says

    I have fun with, cause I found exactly what I used to be looking for.
    You’ve ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
    Bye

  9. instacart promo code says

    What’s up, its nice piece of writing about media print, we
    all know media is a enormous source of data.

  10. tinyurl.com says

    Its like you read my mind! You appear to understand a lot approximately this, like you wrote the guide in it or something.

    I feel that you just can do with a few p.c. to power the message
    home a bit, however instead of that, this is wonderful blog.
    A great read. I will definitely be back.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.