The 2019 African Cup Of Nations will kick off on the 22nd of June, with hosts Egypt in action at the Cairo International Stadium. The 32nd edition of the tournament will be held in Egypt after Cameroon were stripped of the hosting rights in January over concerns at the slow pace of preparations. For the first time in the tournament’s history, the competition is being held during the summer and not in the usual winter period. So players participating in the tournament need not disrupt their league season to represent their country.
The 2019 tournament will also be the first edition with 24 teams taking part in it. They are drawn into six groups of four teams each. After the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third placed teams will advance to the round of 16. The winners will advance to the quarter finals and from then on, progress to the semi final. The semi final losers will contest in a third place match, while the winners will advance to the AFCON Final.
The 2019 African Cup Of Nations Final will be held on Saturday July 20th at 12:30 am IST in Cairo.
Egypt has been known for its ability to host the biggest sports tournaments, as the country has one of the best infrastructures in the continent, besides the huge passion of its people towards sports, especially football. The Cairo International Stadium was opened in 1960 and has a seating capacity of 75,000. It is one of the venues regularly used by the Egypt national team.
It is not the home of any club team, though various Cairo based clubs including top clubs like Al Ahly and Zamalek use the stadium for their high profile matches. The stadium was renovated in 2005 and this brought it on par with other contemporary stadiums of the 21st century. Many new facilities were added to the stadium, making it a complete Olympic standard, multi use stadium and also will be hosting AFCON Final 2019.
The Cairo International Stadium is famous for creating wonderful atmospheres. The stadium was home to Egypt’s African Cup triumphs in 1986 and 2006 as well as a remarkable match in which the Pharaohs confirmed their spot at the 1990 FIFA World Cup held in Italy. Besides hosting the AFCON Final, the stadium has also hosted many major tournaments like the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 1991 All Africa Games.