Cairo International Stadium which will host the opening match. PHOTO/FILE
Exactly a week from now, football lovers from all over Africa will be watching the teams of their choice among the 24 nations that are going to participate in the 32nd edition of the continental showpiece slated for 21st June this year.
After 13 years, the tournament will be hosted in North Africa, Egypt where it was last hosted in 2006.The Pharaohs will have hosted the tournament a record 5 times, having done so in the years 1959, 1974, 1986 and 2006.
They won the rights to host the tournament beating South Africa with 16 votes to one after defending Champions Cameroon, who had been slotted the hosting rights failed to meet the guidelines put by the CAF executive committee.
The tournament was renamed to Total CAF Africa Cup of Nations in 2017, with Total securing an 8-year sponsorship package which also includes ten of CAF affiliated competitions.
The deal comes with some lumpsome money with the winner getting USD 4.5 Million (approximately 450Million Kenyan Shillings).The runners up gets USD2.5 Million (Around 250Million Kenyan shillings).
Qualifying semifinalists will get USD2 Million (200Million Kenyan Shillings) while the quarter-finalists will be awarded USD 800,000 (80Million) Kenyan Shillings).
This year’s tournament will be the first to experience 24 countries taking part in the coveted bonanza.
The tournament will be the first one to be held in June/July with the previous ones held in January/February.
The twenty four teams will be grouped into six with the first 2 getting a direct qualification to the next round while the other 4 will be drawn from the best finishers in the third places to form 16 teams in the Round of 16.
Six venues have been selected to host the tournament. They include Cairo International Stadium, 30th June Stadium, Alexandria Stadium, Suez Stadium, Ismailia Stadium and Al Salam Stadium.
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