The 32nd edition of the Total Africa Cup of Nations has reached the final tournament phase after all qualification rounds have been played with all the teams that will play at the tournament confirmed over the weekend.
The tournament has already seen quite a number of changes from usual January/February window to June/July off season and the competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019. Initial hosts Cameroon were striped of the hosting rights with Egypt named as the new host nation.
The 2019 edition also sees an increase in the number of teams that will take part in the final tournament from the previous 16 teams to 24 teams. The increase in number of teams means that the tournament will take on a new format.
The 24 qualified teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams each. The four teams per group will play a single round robin with the top two teams from each group plus the four best third placed teams advancing to the knock out rounds starting with the round of 16.
The winners of the round of 16 will advance to the quarterfinals. The quarter final winners will advance to the semi-finals. The semi-finals losers will then play in a third place match while semi-final winners will advance to the finals to determine the winner with extra-time and penalties required to determine the winner where necessary.
However, before the group stage draws, the 24 teams will be seeded into 4 pots based on CAF rankings with the host nation Egypt seeded in Group A.
Four East African nations Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi sealed their passage into the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) the highest representation of the region at the continental football show piece in history.
The draws for the group stages will take centre stage on 12th April near the sphinx and the Pyramids near Cairo, Egypt.