For the fifth time, Egypt has been picked as the host nation of the Africa Cup of Nations. The country hosted the tournament for four times: (1959-1974-1986-2006). The 2019 AFCON is held with the participation of 24 teams drawn into six groups of four teams for the first time.
The Organizing Committee has chosen six venues for hosting games: Cairo International Stadium, El-Salam Stadium, June 30 Stadium, Alexandria Stadium and Ismailia Stadium.
The AFCON New Format and CAF Regulations
- In the new edition of the AFCON, The top two teams in each group, along with the best four third-placed teams will advance to the knockout phase, namely the round of 16.
- Should two teams in the group stage amass the same number of points, the CAF set some rules:
- In case of equality between two teams at the end of the group matches, the teams will be ranked according to the following criteria in the order listed below: 1.1 The greatest number of points obtained in the match between the two teams concerned; 1.2 The goal difference in all group matches; 1.3 The greatest number of goals scored in all group matches; 1.4 A drawing of lots conducted by the Organizing Committee.
History of the Africa Cup of Nations
- The idea of organizing the Africa Cup of Nations dates back to June 8, 1956 when Egyptian nationals Abdel Aziz Salem and Mohamed Latif convened in Portugal with Sudanese nationals Abdel Halim Shadad, Badawi Mohamed and Abdel Haleem Mohamed and South African Fred Well to discuss the idea of establishing an African football confederation and organizing a tournament for African nations. The dream came true as in 1957, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia participated in the first ever Africa Cup of Nations in Khartoum (South Africa was eliminated over adopting the apartheid policy at the time). Egypt won Ethiopia and clinched the first trophy. Then in 1959, Egypt organized the tournament with the participation of three teams: Ethiopia, Sudan and the host nation: Egypt and it retained the title.
- Egypt is the most successful nation in the history of the AFCON, as it won the tournament for a record 7 times: 1957, 1957, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Cameroon comes next with 5 titles: 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, and 2017; then Ghana comes third on the list with four titles: 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982.
- Egypt also holds another record, as it made 23 appearances in the AFCON, the highest ever among the African nations, followed by Cote d’Ivoire with 22 appearances, Ghana with 21 appearances, while the teams of Cameroon, Tunisia and the DRC hold the same number of appearances, namely 18 each.