AFCON 2022: start date, fixtures, groups, teams to watch out for, venues

AFCON 2022: start date, fixtures, groups, teams to watch out for, venues

Claudia Kogi

The Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, has increased in popularity in recent weeks. Despite some doubts, the tournament will proceed as scheduled. While the last leg of qualifiers was played last in November 2019, the fixtures scheduled for 2021 were postponed due to Covid. Read on to find out about the AFCON 2022 teams and what to watch out for.

AFCON 2022
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: UGC

With qualifications to the AFCON 2022 on the line, 48 countries divided into 12 groups will go into the next set of fixtures with full strength squads, including their most prominent players, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Liverpool's African stars.

When is the AFCON 2022 start date?

The African Cup of Nations, AFCON 2022, is set to commence from January 9 2022, to February 6 2022, with 24 nations taking part.

What are the AFCON 2022 venues?

While Cameroon are the hosts this time, games will be played in six stadiums in the West African nation: Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam, Omnisport Stadium in Limbé, Roumdé Adjia Stadium in Garoua, Ahmadou-Ahidjo Stadium in Yaoundé, Japoma Stadium in Douala, and Olembé Stadium in Yaoundé.

AFCON 2022 fixtures

What is the AFCON schedule for 2022? More like the current European Championship format, the 24 teams are divided into six groups, with the winners and runners-up reaching the round of 16.

Have a look at the AFCON 2022 fixtures below.

  • Sunday, January 9 2022
  • Monday, January 10 2022
  • Tuesday, January 11 2022
  • Wednesday, January 12 2022
  • Thursday, January 13 2022
  • Friday, January 14 2022
  • Saturday, January 15 2022
  • Sunday, January 16 2022
  • Monday, January 17 2022
  • Tuesday, January 18 2022
  • Wednesday, January 19 2022
  • Thursday, January 20 2022
  • Sunday, January 23 2022
  • Monday, January 24 2022
  • Tuesday, January 25 2022
  • Wednesday, January 26 2022
  • Saturday, January 29 2022
  • Sunday, January 30 2022
  • Wednesday, February 2 2022
  • Thursday, February 3 2022
  • Sunday, February 6 2022

AFCON 2022 groups

While the official commencement date is January 9 2022, the tournament begins with Cameroon taking on Burkina Faso at the Olembe Stadium in Yaounde, which will also host the final on February 6. Here are the AFCON 2022 groups. Check it out below.

AFCON 2022 groups
Zoua Daogari Jacques shooting on goal during the second half at the African Cup of Nations between Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen
Source: Getty Images

Group A

  • January 9: Cameroon vs Burkina Faso
  • January 9: Ethiopia vs Cape Verde
  • January 13: Cameroon vs Ethiopia
  • January 13: Cape Verde vs Burkina Faso
  • January 17: Cape Verde vs Cameroon
  • January 17: Burkina Faso vs Ethiopia

Group B

  • January 10: Senegal vs Zimbabwe
  • January 10: Guinea vs Malawi
  • January 14: Senegal vs Guinea
  • January 14: Malawi vs Zimbabwe
  • January 18: Malawi vs Senegal
  • January 18: Zimbabwe vs Guinea

Group C

  • January 10: Morocco vs Ghana
  • January 10: Comoros vs Gabon
  • January 14: Morocco vs Comoros
  • January 14: Gabon vs Ghana
  • January 18: Gabon vs Morocco
  • January 18: Ghana vs Comoros

Group D

  • January 11: Nigeria vs Egypt
  • January 11: Sudan vs Guinea-Bissau
  • January 15: Nigeria vs Sudan
  • January 15: Guinea-Bissau vs Egypt
  • January 19: Guinea-Bissau vs Nigeria
  • January 19: Egypt vs Sudan

Group E

  • January 11: Algeria vs Sierra Leone
  • January 11: Equatorial Guinea vs Ivory Coast
  • January 15: Ivory Coast vs Sierra Leone
  • January 15: Algeria vs Equatorial Guinea
  • January 19: Ivory Coast vs Algeria
  • January 19: Sierra Leone vs Equatorial Guinea

Group F

  • January 12: Tunisia vs Mali
  • January 12: Mauritania vs Gambia
  • January 16: Gambia vs Mali
  • January 16: Tunisia vs Mauritania
  • January 20: Gambia vs Tunisia
  • January 20: Mali vs Mauritania
AFCON 2022 start date
Players drink water during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) Group E football match between Tunisia and Mali at the Suez Stadium. Photo: FADEL SENNA
Source: Getty Images

Have a look at the AFCON 2022 knockout schedule:

Round of 16

  • January 23: Runner-up Group A vs Runner-up Group C (1)
  • January 23: Winner Group D vs 3rd Group B/E/F (2)
  • January 24: Runner-up Group B vs Runner-up Group F (5)
  • January 24: Winner Group A vs 3rd Group C/D/E (6)
  • January 25: Winner Group B vs 3rd Group A/C/D (3)
  • January 25: Winner Group C vs 3rd Group A/B/F (8)
  • January 26: Winner Group E vs Runner-up Group D (7)
  • January 26: Winner Group F vs Runner-up Group E (4)

Quarter-final

  • January 29: Winners Rof16 1 vs 2 (QF1)
  • January 29: Winners Rof16 5 vs 6 (QF3)
  • January 30: Winners of Rof16 3 vs 4 (QF2)
  • January 30: Winners of Rof16 7 vs 8 (QF4)

Semi-final

  • February 2: Winners of QF 1 vs 2
  • February 3: Winners of QF 3 vs 4

Who are the AFCON 2022 players?

AFCON is always a star studded event, and while that can impart a strain on high-profile football clubs that lose some of their best players, fans get the opportunity to watch several of the world's best players in action.

Top-rated players will be taking part in AFCON 2022. However, plenty of defenders, midfield maestros, and goalkeepers are undisputed world class stars. Below is a list of the top ten players you should look out for taking part in the AFCON 2022 event.

1. Mohamed Salah (Forward, Egypt)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29 in 2021
  • Caps: 74
  • Goals: 45

Salah is a widely known Egyptian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Liverpool and captains the Egypt national team. Additionally, he is renowned for his finishing, dribbling, and speed skills on the football pitch.

2. Sadio Mane (Forward, Senegal)

  • Club: Liverpool (England)
  • Age: 29 in 2021
  • Caps: 80
  • Goals: 26
AFCON 2022 teams to watch out for
Sadio Mane of Liverpool takes the ball round Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool. Photo: Charlotte Wilson
Source: Getty Images

Sadio is a professional football player from Senegal who plays as a winger for the Premier League club, Liverpool and the Senegal national team.

3. Riyad Mahrez (Forward, Algeria)

  • Club: Manchester City (England)
  • Age: 30 in 2021
  • Caps: 70
  • Goals: 26

Karim Mahrez is a well known football player from Algeria who plays as a winger for the Premier League club, Manchester City and Algeria national team.

4. Thomas Partey (Midfielder, Ghana)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 28 in 2021
  • Caps: 34
  • Goals: 12

Hailing from Ghana, Thomas Partey is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Premier League club, Arsenal and the Ghana national team.

5. Edouard Mendy (Goalkeeper, Senegal)

  • Club: Chelsea (England)
  • Age: 29 in 2021
  • Caps: 16
  • Goals: 0

Mendy is a professional football player who plays as a goalkeeper for the Premier League club Chelsea and the Senegal national team.

6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Forward, Gabon)

  • Club: Arsenal (England)
  • Age: 32 in 2021
  • Caps: 71
  • Goals: 29

Hailing from France, Pierre-Emerick Emiliano François Aubameyang is a professional footballer playing as a striker for the Premier League club Arsenal and the Gabon national team.

7. Sebastien Haller (Forward, Ivory Coast)

  • Club: Ajax (Netherlands)
  • Age: 27 in 2021
  • Caps: 8
  • Goals: 3

Sebastien Romain Teddy Haller, famously recognised as Sebastien Haller, is a professional soccer player who plays for Eredivisie club Ajax and the Ivory Coast national team.

8. Wilfred Ndidi (Defender / Midfielder, Nigeria)

  • Club: Leicester City (England)
  • Age: 25 in 2021
  • Caps: 43
  • Goals: 0

Hailing from Nigeria, Ndidi is a professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder for Premier League club Leicester City and the Nigeria national team. Moreover, Ndidi is known for his defensive prowess and long-range strikes.

9. Kalidou Koulibaly (Center back, Senegal)

  • Club: Napoli (Italy)
  • Age: 30 in 2021
  • Caps: 53
  • Goals: 0
AFCON 2022 fixtures
Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli in action during the Serie A match between US Sassuolo v SSC Napoli at Mapei Stadium - Citta' del Tricolore in Reggio nell'Emilia, Italy. Photo: Alessandro Sabattini
Source: Getty Images

The famous Napoli star made headlines two years ago as a possible high-value transfer target, and as of 2022, he remains one of the top defenders in Europe.

10. Achraf Hakimi (Right back, Morocco)

  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain (France)
  • Age: 23 in 2021
  • Caps: 41
  • Goals: 5

For years now, Hakimi has been one of the best and youngest talents in Africa, evidenced by his 41 international caps by 23. Furthermore, the footballer has been a fixture in the Morocco lineup over the past two years and played every minute of the team's run to the Knockout stage of AFCON 2019.

Where can I bet on the African Cup of nations 2022?

If you want to enjoy AFCON 2022, you can watch it on television or be willing to spend that coin and travel to Cameroon to watch live in the stadium. But, even more exciting, you can be part of the enjoyment by betting on different games. Below, we have compiled a list of betting sites that have the best odds and features for you to consider.

  1. Bet9ja
  2. 1xbet
  3. 22bet
  4. Betway
  5. Ogabet
  6. Interwetten

Soccer has been a loved and cherished sport in Africa for a long time. Watching different countries battle it out for glory in AFCON after every 2 years is constantly refreshing. We hope that you are currently updated on the upcoming AFCON 2022 event.

READ ALSO: Bafana Bafana coaches list and history as of 2022: Who was the best?

Sportsbrief.com has recently compiled a list of Bafana Bafana coaches. Since 1992, The South African Men's national football team has recruited several coaches. However, only one of the recruited coaches has led them to AFCON glory.

In this article, find more information about the coaches, including details about their careers and personal lives. Read more here!

NEXT NEWS