Africa Cup of Nations 2019 draw – all you need to know





Wilfried Zaha, Riyad Mahrez, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are among the players likely to play at Afcon 2019

The Africa Cup of Nations draw takes place on Friday (19:00 BST), with several Premier League players waiting to discover their countries’ fate.

The tournament, which is in Egypt, is the biggest yet with 24 teams and the first to be held in Europe’s summer rather than January or February.

It will take place from 21 June to 19 July, meaning European-based players will not need to miss club games.

Cameroon are the defending champions, beating Egypt in the 2017 final.

Liverpool pair Mohamed Salah (Egypt) and Sadio Mane (Senegal), Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) and Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast) are among the Premier League stars expected to feature.

The draw

Teams have been separated into four seeding pots based on the Fifa world rankings released on 4 April. They will then be drawn into six groups of four.

Afcon draw pots
Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Egypt DR Congo South Africa Zimbabwe
Cameroon Ghana Uganda Namibia
Senegal Mali Benin Guinea-Bissau
Tunisia Ivory Coast Mauritania Angola
Nigeria Guinea Madagascar Tanzania
Morocco Algeria Kenya Burundi

The top two teams from each group, and four best third-placed teams, go into the quarter-finals.

Where and when are the finals?

What will Afcon 2019 in Egypt look like? The BBC’s Stanley Kwenda explains

Egypt, 21 June to 19 July.

This is only part of the story, though.

Cameroon was initially selected to host, but the country was stripped of the event because of delays in the progress of their preparation. In a statement announcing this, the Confederation of African Football said “a number of compliance conditions have not been met” and added it did not want to expose the Africa Cup of Nations to “any issues that could impact on the success of the most prestigious African competition”.

The original timing of the event was also changed from 15 June-13 July to its current dates to allow players to rest after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan, when Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset, is due to start at the beginning of May and last until the beginning of June.

How have the countries performed before?

The tournament will feature 24 teams, an increase from the 16 that took part in the event in Gabon 2017.

There will be three debutants this year in Burundi, Madagascar and Mauritania.

The hosts, Egypt, are the most experienced and decorated side competing, having won the Afcon seven times, most recently in 2010.

Five-time winners and holders Cameroon – now managed by Clarence Seedorf – will also be there to defend their title.

Afcon 2019 qualified teams
Team Finals appearance Previous best
Algeria 18th Winners (1990)
Angola 8th Quarter-finals (2008, 2010)
Benin 4th Group stage (2004, 2008, 2010)
Burundi 1st Debut
Cameroon 19th Winners (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017)
DR Congo 19th Winners (1968, 1974)
Egypt 24th Winners (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Ghana 22nd Winners (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
Guinea 12th Runners-up (1976)
Guinea-Bissau 2nd Group stage (2017)
Ivory Coast 23rd Winners (1992, 2015)
Kenya 6th Group stage (1972, 1988, 1990, 1992, 2004)
Madagascar 1st Debut
Mali 11th Runners-up (1972)
Mauritania 1st Debut
Morocco 17th Winners (1976)
Namibia 3rd Group stage (1998, 2008)
Nigeria 18th Winners (1980, 1994, 2013)
Senegal 15th Runners-up (2002)
South Africa 10th Winners (1996)
Tanzania 2nd Group stage (1980)
Tunisia 19th Winners (2004)
Uganda 7th Runners-up (1978)
Zimbabwe 4th Group stage (2004, 2006, 2017)

Which Premier League players could be there?

Egypt: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal)

Senegal: Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Idrissa Gueye (Everton), Cheikhou Kouyate (Crystal Palace)

Morocco: Romain Saiss (Wolves)

Nigeria: Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Wilfred Ndidi (Leicester)

Algeria: Riyad Mahrez (Man City)

Ivory Coast: Serge Aurier (Tottenham), Eric Bailly (Man Utd), Jean Michael Seri (Fulham), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)

Kenya: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham)

Ghana: Christian Atsu (Newcastle), Jeffrey Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace)

Cameroon: Gaetong Bong (Brighton), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Fulham)

DR Congo: Arthur Masuaku (West Ham)

Benin: Steve Mounie (Huddersfield)

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