Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the competition was postponed until early 2022.
After being rescheduled owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations is just around the corner.
Kickoff date and fixtures schedule
The biannual competition was scheduled to take place in June and July of 2021, but due to unfavourable weather circumstances, the Confederation of African Football moved it up to January 9.
The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, five-time tournament champions, will play Burkina Faso in the tournament and Group A opening on January 9 in Yaoundé. Group A is completed by Ethiopia and Cap Verde.
Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, and Malawi are in Group B, while Morocco will face Ghana, Comoros, and Gabon in Group C.
Nigeria will compete in Group D against Egypt, Sudan, and Guinea-Bissau.
Defending champions and favourites to win the tournament Algeria will head Group E, which comprises Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, and the Ivory Coast, while Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, and the Gambia will compete in Group F.
Algeria, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Zambia had all expressed interest in hosting Africa’s premier sporting event. After the previous three bids were turned down, Cameroon was allowed to host the tournament.
Ivory Coast was pushed to host the 2023 event, while the Central African nation was considered for the 2021 edition. The competition is expected to begin on January 9 and run until February 6, with six locations hosting matches.
The matches will be held in six stadiums: Yaounde’s Ahmadou Ahidjo and Paul Biya Stadiums, Limbe Stadium in Limbe, Douala’s Japoma Stadium, Bafoussam’s Kouekong Stadium, and Garoua’s Roumde Adjia Stadium. The final will be hosted at Paul Biya.
Players of the highest calibre are expected to represent their countries. Mohamed Salah of Liverpool is expected to play for Egypt, while Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Edouard Mendy of Chelsea are expected to play for Senegal. Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City is anticipated to play for Algeria, while Thomas Partey of Arsenal will represent Ghana. Morocco is represented by PSG’s Achraf Hakimi and Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech.