Egypt was voted a hosting nation of the AFCON 2019 having secured 16 votes against one vote for rivals South Africa, with one country abstaining. This is the fifth time Egypt hosts the biggest football event in the continent. In 1959, the country hosted and won the tournament, though under the name of the then United Arab Republic; and in 1974, it hosted the tournament, but Zaire won the title; in 1986, Egypt again hosted and won the trophy; the same is true for the 2006 AFCON. The 2019 AFCON will take place from June 21 to July 21, 2019, with the participation of 24 teams, for the first time, divided into 6 groups.
Being the hosting nation, Egypt tops Group A that also joins Uganda, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the qualification stage, Egypt came second in Group 10 next to Tunisia. Egypt lost 1/0 to Tunisia, but came back to win 3/2 in the home leg. The Pharaohs thrashed Niger 6/0 before the away game ended in a tie; they also won Eswatini 4/1 and 2/0 respectively.
The Pharaohs are managed by Mexican coach Javier Aguirre. Big names on the Pharaohs’ squad include Mo Salah, Mahmoud Hassan nicknamed as Trezeguet, Ahmed Hegazi and Tarek Hamed.
Egypt in the group stage in previous tournaments
Egypt hosted the tournament in 1959, though under the name of the United Arab Republic. At that time, three nations participated in the tournament: Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Egypt hammered Ethiopia 4/0 then won Sudan 2/1 to clinch the trophy.
In the group stage, the Pharaohs were in Group A that joined Zambia, Uganda, and Côte d'Ivoire. The Pharaohs won their games 3/1, 2/1, and 2/0 respectively.
Egypt was drawn in Group A that joined Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal and Mozambique. Unfortunately, the Pharaohs lost the opener to Senegal 1/0; but won the other two games with the same result 2/0.
Egypt came in Group A that joined Côte d'Ivoire, Morocco and Libya. Egypt vs. Morocco game ended in a goalless tie; but the Pharaohs came back quickly and won Côte d'Ivoire 3/1 and Libya 3/0.
The Indomitable Lions finished second in Group 2 in the qualification stage that joined Morocco, Comoros, and Malawi. Cameroon, the title holder, amassed 11 points having beaten Morocco 1/0 before losing 2/0 in the away leg. The Indomitable Lions thrashed Comoros 3/0 and the away leg ended in a 1/1 tie. They also beat Malawi 1/0 and the away leg ended in a goalless tie.
Cameroon is managed by famed Dutch super stars Clarence Seedorf as head coach and Patrick Kluivert. Top stars on Cameroon’s squad include goalkeeper Andre Onana, Choupo-Moting and Karl Toko Ekambi.
The Super Green Eagles topped Group 5 in the qualification stage, grabbing 13 points. They lost 2/0 to South Africa and had a 1/1 tie with the Bafana in the away leg. They hammered Seychelles 3/0 and 3/1; and won Libya 4/0 and 3/2 respectively.
German Gernot Rohr is the head coach of Cameroon, and the team’s lineup includes goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi, Abdullahi Shehu, and Odion Ighalo.
The Lions of Teranga are Africa’s number one on the FIFA World Ranking and one of the favorites to claim the 2019 AFCON title. Senegal topped Group 1 in the qualification stage, amassing 16 points, the highest ever in the qualifiers. They beat Equatorial Guinea 3/0 and 1/0; against Madagascar, they won 2/0 and had a 2/2 tie; then they beat Sudan 3/0 and 1/0.
The Lions of Terange are managed by Senegalese national Aliou Cissé and their top stars include Sadio Mane, Mbaye Niang, and Idrissa Gana Gueye.
Tunisia, the Eagles of Carthage, finished first on Group 10 that joined Egypt, in the qualification stage. They grabbed 15 points, the second highest in the qualification stage. They won Egypt 1/0 and lost the away game 3/2; they beat Niger 1/0 and 2/1; and thrashed Eswatini 4/0 and 2/0.
The Eagles of Carthage are managed by French Alain Giresse and their top stars include goalkeeper Moez Ben Cherifia, Karim Aouadi, and Taha Yassine Khenissi.
The Atlas Lions topped Group 2 in the qualification stage, grabbing 11 points, the same number that rivals Cameroon secured. They lost 1/0 to Cameroon; then they beat Malawi 3/0 and had a goalless tie in the away leg; they also won Comoros 1/0 before the away game ended in a 2/2 draw.
The Atlas Lions are managed by French Hervé Renard and their squad includes Karim el Ahmadi, Mbark Boussoufa, Nordin Amrabat, and Hakim Ziyech.
The DRC finished second on Group 7 in the qualification stage behind rivals Zimbabwe, collecting 9 points.
The Leopards won neighboring Congo 3/1 then the away game ended in a 1/1 tie; they won Liberia 1/0 and the away game ended in a 1/1 tie. They lost 2/1 to Zimbabwe and had a 1/1 tie in the home game.
The team is managed by fellow Florent Ibengé as the head coach; and the Leopards’ squad includes Glody Ngonda, Yannick Bolasie, and Cedric Bakambu.
The Black Stars topped Group 6 in the qualification stage, grabbing 9 points. They won Ethiopia 5/0 and 2/0; lost 1/0 to Kenya and won 1/0 in the home game.
The team’s head coach is national James Kwesi Appiah and the squad includes big names as Andre Ayew, Mubarak Wakaso, Asamoah Gyan and Jordan Ayew.
Mali came first on Group 3 in the qualification stage, grabbing 14 points. The Eagles are among 4 teams who never lost in the qualifiers. They won Gabon two times: 2/1 and 1/0; thrashed South Sudan 3/0 in the home and away fixtures; then their game with Burundi ended 1/1 and 0/0.
Mali is managed by national coach Mohamed Magassouba and their squad includes Lassana Coulibaly, Kalifa Coulibaly and Moussa Marega.
The Elephants finished second on Group 8 in the qualification stage behind rivals Guinea, grabbing 11 points. They lost 3/2 to Guinea and had a 1/1 tie in the away fixture; they won Rwanda 2/1 and 3/0 and thrashed Central African Republic 4/0 before the away fixture ended in a goalless tie.
The Elephants are managed by national Ibrahim Kamara as head coach and their squad stars include Ismaël Traore, Roger Assale, Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe.
Guinea had a successful journey before qualifying to the 2019 AFCON in Egypt. They topped Group 8, grabbing 12 points. The National Elephants won Cote d’Ivoire 3/2 in Abidjan and had a 1/1 tie in the home fixture. They beat Central African Republic 1/0 and were held to a goalless tie in the away game. The National Elephants won Rwanda 2/0 and had a 1/1 tie in the away game.
The National Elephants are managed by Belgian Paul Put, and their squad includes top star Naby Keita, Ibrahima Traore, and Mady Camara.
The Desert Warriors topped Group 4 in the qualification stage, collecting 11 points of out of three wins and two ties. They won Togo 4/1 and 1/0; were held to a 1/1 tie with The Gambia in both away and home games; won Benin 2/0 before losing in the away game 1/0.
The Desert Warriors are managed by Djamel Belmadi as a head coach and their squad includes Riyad Mahrez, Hicham Boudaoui and Yacine Brahimi.
The Bafana Bafana came second on Group 5 in the qualifiers behind Nigeria, amassing 12 points. They lost to Nigeria 2/0 and were held to a 1/1 tie with the Super Green Eagles; they thrashed Seychelles 6/0 and had a goalless tie in the away game; they won Libya 2/1 in the away game and had a goalless tie in the home game.
South Africa is managed by national Gordon Igesund as head coach and the team’s squad includes Lebogang Maboe, Percy Tau, and Lars Veldwijk.
Uganda ranked first on Group 12, grabbing 13 points. They won Capo Verde 1/0 in both home and away games; lost 3/0 to Tanzania and the home game ended in a goalless tie; they won Lesotho 2/0 and 3/0 in both home and away fixtures.
The Cranes are managed by French Sébastien Desabre and their squad includes goalkeeper Denis Onyango, Khalid Aucho, and Patrick Kaddu.
Benin finished second on Group 2 next to Algeria, grabbing 10 points. They won The Gambia 1/0 before losing 3/1 in the away game; they beat Togo 2/1 and had a goalless tie in the away game; and they lost 2/0 to Algeria, before winning 1/0 in the home fixture.
The Squirrels are managed by French Michel Dussuyer as head coach and their squad includes Desire Azankpo, Jordan Adeoti and Stephane Sessegnon.
For the first time ever, Mauritania made it to the Africa Cup of Nations, having topped Group 9 with Angola, grabbing 12 points each. They won Botswana 1/0 and 2/1; beat Burkina Faso 2/1 before losing 1/0 in the away game; they lost 4/1 to Angola before securing a 1/0 win in Nouakchott.
The Al-Murabitun are managed by French Corentin Martins head coach and their squad include Khassa Camara, Alassane Diop, Souleymane Anne, and Hemeya Tanjy.
For the first time ever in history, Madagascar made it to the Africa Cup of Nations, having finished second after rivals Senegal in Group 1. Madagascar secured three wins and one tie and they lost twice in their journey for the 2019 AFCON.
The Barea are managed by French Nicolas Dupuis and their squad includes Ibrahim Amada, Anicet Andrianantenaina and Paulin Voavy.
Kenya finished second on Group 6 in the qualification stage. In their journey to the 2019 AFCON, the Harambee stars secured two wins over Ghana and Ethiopia and a tie with the latter, collecting 7 points.
The Harambee Stars are managed by French Sébastien Migné as head coach and their squad includes Victor Wanyama, Ismael Gonzalez and Michael Olunga.
Zimbabwe topped Group 7 with three wins, two draws, grabbing 11 points. They won Liberia 3/0 then lost 1/0 in the away game; they defeat the Republic of Congo 2/0 but the away game ended in a 1/1 tie. They won rivals the Democratic Republic of Congo 2/1 and their away game ended in a tie.
The Warriors are managed by Sunday Chidzambwa as their head coach and their squad includes Talent Chawapiwa, Tafadzwa Kutinyu, Evans Rusike and Knowledge Musona.
Namibia came second on Group 11 in the qualification stage, grabbing 8 points. They lost to rivals Guinea-Bissau 1/0 and their away home game ended in a goalless tie; they were hammered 4/1 by Zambia before they had a 1/1 tie in the home fixture; and they won Mozambique 2/1 and 1/0.
The Brave Warriors are managed by fellow Ricardo Mannetti as head coach and their squad includes Benson Shilongo, Manfred Starke and Absalom Iimbondi.
Guinea-Bissau topped Group 11, amassing 11 points. The Djurtus won Namibia 1/0, Zambia 2/1 and had three ties with Namibia 0/0, and Mozambique 2/2 in both home and away legs.
The Djurtus are managed by national Baciro Candé and their squad includes Mama Balde, Toni Silva and Joseph Mendes.
Angola topped Group 9, grabbing 12 points thanks to 4 wins against Burkina Faso 2/1, Botswana 1/0 in both home and away legs, and Mauritania 4/1.
The Sable Antelopes are managed by Serbian Srdjan Vasiljevic and their squad includes Geraldo, Stelvio Cruz and Djalma Campos.
Tanzania finished second on Group 12, collecting 8 points thanks to two wins over Uganda 3/0, Capo Verde 2/0 and two ties with Lesotho 1/1 and Uganda 0/0.
The Taifa Stars are managed by Nigerian Emmanuel Amuneke as their head coach and their squad includes John Bocco, Mbwana Samatta and Yahya Zayd.
Burundi finished second on Group 3 next to Mali, grabbing 10 points that secured their first appearance ever in the Africa Cup of Nations. They won South Sudan 3/0 and 5/2 and were held to a 1/1 tie with Gabon in both home and away legs and their game with Mali ended in a 0/0 and 1/1 draws as well.
The Les Hirondelles dans la guerre (Swallows in the War) are managed by national coach Olivier Niyungeko and their squad includes Cedric Amissi, Saido Berahino, Francis Mustafa and Fiston Abdoul Razak.