The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (abbreviated as AFCON2019 or CAN2019), known as the Total2019 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons, is the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial international men's football championship of Africa organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The tournament is being hosted by Egypt. The competition is currently held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017 to move the Africa Cup of Nations from January/February to June/July for the first time. It is also the first Africa Cup of Nations expanded from 16 to 24 teams.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon. Cameroon would have hosted the competition for the first time since 1972. They were also the title holders after winning the previous edition. On 30 November 2018, Cameroon was stripped of hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations due to delays in the delivery of infrastructure, the Boko Haram insurgency and the Anglophone Crisis. On 8 January 2019, Egypt was chosen by the CAF Executive Committee as the host nation of the competition. The tournament was also moved from the original dates of 15 June – 13 July to 21 June – 19 July due to Ramadan.
Cameroon were the defending champions, but were eliminated in the round of 16 by Nigeria. The hosts Egypt were eliminated at the same stage after losing to South Africa.
In July 2016, Total secured an eight-year sponsorship package from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to support 10 of its principal competitions. Total started with the Africa Cup of Nations that was held in Gabon in 2017 therefore renaming it to Total Africa Cup of Nations.
Tut, the official mascot of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
The organizing board of the 2019 African Cup of Nations revealed the AFCON 2019 Mascot; "Tut", which is inspired by the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. His kit bears resemblance to Egypt's home colors, with the map of Africa visible on his shirt as well as the tournament's logo.
Due to Morocco withdrawing from being hosts of the 2015 edition, CAF banned the national team of Morocco from entering the 2017 and 2019 Africa Cups of Nations. However, the ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, meaning Morocco, having qualified for this edition of the African Cup of Nations, could participate in the tournament.
Only the hosts received an automatic qualification spot, with the other 23 teams qualifying through a qualification tournament. At the finals, the 24 teams were drawn into six groups of four teams each. The teams in each group played a single round robin. After the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third-placed teams advanced to the round of 16. The winners will advance to the quarter-finals. The winners of the quarter-finals will advance to the semi-finals. The losers of the semi-finals will play in a third place play-off, while winners of the semi-finals will play in the final.
The draw procedure was approved by the CAF Executive Committee on 11 April 2019. For the draw, the teams were allocated to four pots based on the FIFA World Rankings of April 2019 (shown in brackets). Hosts Egypt were automatically assigned to position A1. Defending champions Cameroon were also automatically placed into Pot 1.
Teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Article 74):
Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
If more than two teams were tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams were still tied, all head-to-head criteria above were reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;