2021 Africa Cup of Nations

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (also referred to as AFCON 2021 or CAN 2021), known as the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship reasons,[2] is the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial international men's football championship of Africa organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). The tournament is being hosted by Cameroon,[3] and taking place from 9 January to 6 February 2022.[1]

2021 Africa Cup of Nations
Coupe d'Afrique des Nations 2021
2021 Africa Cup of Nations logo.png
Official logo
Tournament details
Host countryCameroon
Dates9 January – 6 February 2022[1]
Teams24 (from 1 confederation)
Venue(s)6 (in 5 host cities)
Tournament statistics
Matches played32
Goals scored60 (1.88 per match)
Top scorer(s)Cameroon Vincent Aboubakar (5 goals)
2019
2023
All statistics correct as of 19 January 2022.

The tournament was originally scheduled to be played in June and July 2021. However, on 15 January 2020, the CAF announced that due to unfavourable climatic conditions during that period, the tournament had been rescheduled to be played between 9 January and 6 February 2021.[4] On 30 June 2020, the CAF moved the tournament's dates for the second time to January 2022 following the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent, whilst retaining the name 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship purposes.[5]

Algeria (two-time winners) are the defending champions, having won the 2019 edition.

Host selection

After the CAF Executive Committee meeting on 24 January 2014, it was announced that there were three official candidates for the 2021 edition:[6]

Bids:

  • Algeria
  • Guinea
  • Ivory Coast

Rejected Bids:

  • DR Congo
  • Gabon
  • Zambia

This list was different from the list of the host nation bids for both the 2019 and 2021 edition of the Cup of Nations as announced by CAF in November 2013, with Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon and Zambia also on the original list.[7] All three official candidates also bid for hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The decision of the host country was postponed from early 2014 to grant each bidding country adequate time to receive the inspection delegation.[6] After the final vote at the CAF Executive Committee meeting, on 20 September 2014, the CAF announced the hosts for the 2019, 2021 and 2023 AFCON tournaments: 2019 to Cameroon, 2021 to Ivory Coast, and 2023 to Guinea.[8]

Host change

On 30 November 2018, CAF stripped Cameroon from hosting the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.[9] However, CAF President Ahmad Ahmad said that Cameroon had agreed to host the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. Consequently, Ivory Coast, original hosts of 2021, will host the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, and Guinea, original hosts of 2023, will host the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations.[10][11]

On 30 January 2019, the CAF President confirmed the timetable shift, after a meeting with Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.[12]

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

The tournament was originally scheduled to take place between 9 January and 6 February 2021. The preliminary round and two matchdays of the qualifying group stage had already been played between 9 October and 19 November 2019. The third and fourth matchdays of the qualifying group stage, which were initially scheduled to take place from 23 to 31 March and 1 to 9 June 2020 respectively, were postponed and all remaining qualifying matches rescheduled due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.[13]

On 19 June 2020, the CAF stated it was undecided about when continental competitions would resume, and were prioritising new schedules for the 2019–20 CAF Champions League and the 2019–20 CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals, the postponed 2020 African Nations Championship and the 2020 Africa Women Cup of Nations, alongside the 2021 Africa Cup of Nation, as football competitions across the continent had been postponed, cancelled or suspended.[14]

On 30 June 2020, however, the CAF announced the rescheduling of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to January 2022 "after consultation with stakeholders and taking into consideration the current global situation" according to a published statement, with new dates to be announced at a later date.[15] Subsequently, other continental competitions and events to be held were rescheduled or cancelled, including new dates for the remaining AFCON qualifiers, which were now to be completed by March 2021.[16] On 31 March 2021, it was confirmed that the final tournament would take place from 9 January to 6 February 2022, exactly one year after its originally scheduled start date.[1]

Qualification

Qualified teams

The following teams qualified for the tournament.

Team Method of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Previous best
performance
FIFA ranking
at start of event
  Cameroon Hosts / Group F
winners
8 January 2019 20th 2019 Winners (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, 2017) 50
  Senegal Group I winners 15 November 2020 16th 2019 Runners-up (2002, 2019) 20
  Algeria Group H winners 16 November 2020 19th 2019 Winners (1990, 2019) 29
  Mali Group A winners 17 November 2020 12th 2019 Runners-up (1972) 53
  Tunisia Group J winners 17 November 2020 20th 2019 Winners (2004) 30
  Burkina Faso Group B winners 24 March 2021 12th 2017 Runners-up (2013) 60
  Guinea Group A runners-up 24 March 2021 13th 2019 Runners-up (1976) 81
  Comoros Group G runners-up 25 March 2021 1st None Debut 132
  Gabon Group D runners-up 25 March 2021 8th 2017 Quarter-finals (1996, 2012) 89
  Gambia Group D winners 25 March 2021 1st None Debut 150
  Egypt Group G winners 25 March 2021 25th 2019 Winners (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010) 45
  Ghana Group C winners 25 March 2021 23rd 2019 Winners (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982) 52
  Equatorial Guinea Group J runners-up 25 March 2021 3rd 2015 Fourth place (2015) 114
  Zimbabwe Group H runners-up 25 March 2021 5th 2019 Group stage (2004, 2006, 2017, 2019) 121
  Ivory Coast Group K winners 26 March 2021 24th 2019 Winners (1992, 2015) 56
  Morocco Group E winners 26 March 2021 18th 2019 Winners (1976) 28
  Nigeria Group L winners 27 March 2021 19th 2019 Winners (1980, 1994, 2013) 36
  Sudan Group C runners-up 28 March 2021 9th 2012 Winners (1970) 125
  Malawi Group B runners-up 29 March 2021 3rd 2010 Group stage (1984, 2010) 129
  Ethiopia Group K runners-up 30 March 2021 11th 2013 Winners (1962) 137
  Mauritania Group E runners-up 30 March 2021 2nd 2019 Group stage (2019) 103
  Guinea-Bissau Group I runners-up 30 March 2021 3rd 2019 Group stage (2017, 2019) 106
  Cape Verde Group F runners-up 30 March 2021 3rd 2015 Quarter-finals (2013) 73
  Sierra Leone Group L runners-up 15 June 2021 3rd 1996 Group stage (1994, 1996) 108

Format

A total of 24 teams are competing in the final tournament. Only the hosts received an automatic qualification spot, with the other 23 teams qualified through a qualification tournament. At the finals, the 24 teams were drawn into six groups of four teams. The teams in each group played a single round robin. After the group stage, the top two teams from each group and the four highest ranked third-placed teams advanced to the round of 16. The round of 16 winners advanced to the quarter-finals and the quarter-final winners advanced to the semi-finals. The semi-final losers played in a third place match, while the semi-final winners contested the final.

Match ball

CAF announced the official match ball named Toghu on 23 November 2021. It is made by English manufacturer Umbro.[17]

Mascot

The mascot, "Mola", was unveiled on May 17, 2021, during a ceremony in Yaoundé. He is a lion and his kit bears resemblance to Cameroon's home colors, with words saying "Cameroon" with "2021" on the top and bottom of the kit.[18]

Match officials

The following referees were chosen for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, with two referees from CONCACAF assigned.[19]

Referees

Assistant referees

Video assistant referees

Draw

The final draw was originally scheduled to take place on 25 June 2021, but was postponed to 17 August 2021.[1][2][20] The 24 teams were drawn into four groups of six.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4

  Cameroon (hosts)
  Algeria (title holders)
  Senegal
  Tunisia
  Nigeria
  Morocco

  Egypt
  Ghana
  Mali
  Ivory Coast
  Guinea
  Burkina Faso

  Cape Verde
  Gabon
  Mauritania
  Zimbabwe
  Guinea-Bissau
  Sierra Leone

  Sudan
  Malawi
  Comoros
  Equatorial Guinea
  Ethiopia
  Gambia

Venues

With the Africa Cup of Nations expanded from 16 to 24 teams, at least six venues are expected to be used across five Cameroonian cities.[21] The six stadiums selected to host matches are the Olembe Stadium and Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in the capital Yaoundé, the Japoma Stadium in Douala, the Limbe Stadium in Limbe, the Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam and the Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua.[22] The opening match of the tournament and the final are set to take place at the newly built 60,000 seater Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.[23]

Douala Yaoundé
Japoma Stadium Olembe Stadium Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo
Capacity: 50,000 Capacity: 60,000 Capacity: 42,500
     
Garoua Bafoussam Limbe
Roumdé Adjia Stadium Kouekong Stadium Limbe Stadium
Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 20,000
 

Squads

Group stage

The top two teams of each group, along with the best four third-placed teams, advance to the round of 16. All times are local, WAT (UTC+1).

Tiebreakers

Teams are 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 are applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Article 74):[24]

  1. Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  2. Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  3. Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
  4. If more than two teams are tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, if two teams is still tied, all head-to-head criteria above are applied exclusively to this two teams;
  5. Goal difference in all group matches;
  6. Goals scored in all group matches;
  7. Drawing of lots.

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Cameroon (H) 3 2 1 0 7 3 +4 7 Advance to knockout stage
2   Burkina Faso 3 1 1 1 3 3 0 4[a]
3   Cape Verde 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4[a]
4   Ethiopia 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 1
Source: CAF
(H) Host
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head result: Cape Verde 0–1 Burkina Faso.
Cameroon  2–1  Burkina Faso
Aboubakar   40' (pen.), 45+3' (pen.) Report Sangaré   24'
Ethiopia  0–1  Cape Verde
Report J. Tavares   45+1'

Cameroon  4–1  Ethiopia
Report Hotessa   4'
Cape Verde  0–1  Burkina Faso
Report Bandé   39'

Cape Verde  1–1  Cameroon
Rodrigues   53' Report Aboubakar   39'
Burkina Faso  1–1  Ethiopia
Bayala   25' Report Kebede   52' (pen.)

Group B

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Senegal 3 1 2 0 1 0 +1 5 Advance to knockout stage
2   Guinea 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4[a]
3   Malawi 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4[a]
4   Zimbabwe 3 1 0 2 3 4 −1 3
Source: CAF
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head result: Guinea 1–0 Malawi.
Senegal  1–0  Zimbabwe
Mané   90+7' (pen.) Report
Guinea  1–0  Malawi
Sylla   35' Report

Senegal  0–0  Guinea
Report
Malawi  2–1  Zimbabwe
Mhango   43', 58' Report Wadi   38'

Malawi  0–0  Senegal
Report
Zimbabwe  2–1  Guinea
Report N. Keïta   49'

Group C

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Morocco (A) 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 7 Advance to knockout stage
2   Gabon (A) 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 5
3   Comoros 3 1 0 2 3 5 −2 3 Possible knockout stage based on ranking
4   Ghana (E) 3 0 1 2 3 5 −2 1
Source: CAF
(A) Advance to a further round; (E) Eliminated
Morocco  1–0  Ghana
Boufal   83' Report
Comoros  0–1  Gabon
Report Boupendza   16'

Morocco  2–0  Comoros
Report
Gabon  1–1  Ghana
Allevinah   88' Report A. Ayew   18'

Gabon  2–2  Morocco
Report
Ghana  2–3  Comoros
Report

Group D

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Nigeria 3 3 0 0 6 1 +5 9 Advance to knockout stage
2   Egypt 3 2 0 1 2 1 +1 6
3   Sudan 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
4   Guinea-Bissau 3 0 1 2 0 3 −3 1
Source: CAF
Nigeria  1–0  Egypt
Iheanacho   30' Report
Sudan  0–0  Guinea-Bissau
Report

Nigeria  3–1  Sudan
Report Khedr   70' (pen.)
Guinea-Bissau  0–1  Egypt
Report Salah   69'

Guinea-Bissau  0–2  Nigeria
Report
Egypt  1–0  Sudan
Abdelmonem   35' Report

Group E

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Ivory Coast (A) 2 1 1 0 3 2 +1 4 Advance to knockout stage
2   Equatorial Guinea 2 1 0 1 1 1 0 3
3   Sierra Leone 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2 Possible knockout stage based on ranking
4   Algeria 2 0 1 1 0 1 −1 1
Updated to match(es) played on 16 January 2022. Source: CAF
(A) Advance to a further round
Algeria  0–0  Sierra Leone
Report
Equatorial Guinea  0–1  Ivory Coast
Report Gradel   5'

Ivory Coast  2–2  Sierra Leone
Report
Algeria  0–1  Equatorial Guinea
Report Esteban   70'

Ivory Coast  Match 33  Algeria
Report

Group F

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1   Gambia (A) 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4[a] Advance to knockout stage
1   Mali (A) 2 1 1 0 2 1 +1 4[a]
3   Tunisia (X) 2 1 0 1 4 1 +3 3 Possible knockout stage based on ranking
4   Mauritania (E) 2 0 0 2 0 5 −5 0
Updated to match(es) played on 16 January 2022. Source: CAF
(A) Advance to a further round; (E) Eliminated; (X) Assured of a top three finish.
Notes:
  1. ^ a b Head-to-head result: Gambia 1–1 Mali. If required (i.e., finish equal first), teams would be separated by drawing of lots.
Tunisia  0–1  Mali
Report Koné   48' (pen.)
Mauritania  0–1  Gambia
Report A. Jallow   10'

Gambia  1–1  Mali
Mu. Barrow   90' (pen.) Report Koné   79' (pen.)
Tunisia  4–0  Mauritania
Report

Gambia  Match 35  Tunisia
Report
Mali  Match 36  Mauritania
Report

Ranking of third-placed teams

Pos Grp Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 A   Cape Verde (A) 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4 Advance to knockout stage
1 B   Malawi (A) 3 1 1 1 2 2 0 4
3 F   Tunisia 2 1 0 1 4 1 +3 3
4 C   Comoros 3 1 0 2 3 5 −2 3
5 E   Sierra Leone 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2
6 D   Sudan (E) 3 0 1 2 1 4 −3 1
Updated to match(es) played on 19 January 2022. Source: CAF
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Goals scored; 4) Drawing of lots.
(A) Advance to a further round; (E) Eliminated

Knockout stage

In the knockout stage, extra time and a penalty shoot-out were used to decide the winner if necessary, except for the third place match, where a direct penalty shoot-out, without any extra time, was used to decide the winner if necessary (Regulations Article 75).

Combinations of matches in the round of 16

The specific match-ups involving the third-placed teams depended on which four third-placed teams qualified for the round of 16:

  Possible combinations of third-placed teams
Third-placed teams
qualify from groups
1A
vs
1B
vs
1C
vs
1D
vs
A B C D 3C 3D 3A 3B
A B C E 3C 3A 3B 3E
A B C F 3C 3A 3B 3F
A B D E 3D 3A 3B 3E
A B D F 3D 3A 3B 3F
A B E F 3E 3A 3B 3F
A C D E 3C 3D 3A 3E
A C D F 3C 3D 3A 3F
A C E F 3C 3A 3F 3E
A D E F 3D 3A 3F 3E
B C D E 3C 3D 3B 3E
B C D F 3C 3D 3B 3F
B C E F 3E 3C 3B 3F
B D E F 3E 3D 3B 3F
C D E F 3C 3D 3F 3E

Bracket

 
Round of 16Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsFinal
 
              
 
23 January – Limbe
 
 
  Burkina Faso
 
29 January – Garoua
 
  Gabon
 
Winner R16-M1
 
23 January – Garoua
 
Winner R16-M2
 
  Nigeria
 
2 February – Douala
 
3rd Group E/F
 
Winner Quarter-final A
 
25 January – Bafoussam
 
Winner Quarter-final D
 
  Senegal
 
30 January – Douala
 
  Cape Verde
 
Winner R16-M5
 
26 January – Limbe
 
Winner R16-M8
 
Winner Group F
 
6 February – Yaoundé (Olembe)
 
Runner-up Group E
 
Winner Semi-final 1
 
24 January – Bafoussam
 
Winner Semi-final 2
 
  Guinea
 
29 January – Douala
 
Runner-up Group F
 
Winner R16-M4
 
24 January – Yaoundé (Olembe)
 
Winner R16-M3
 
  Cameroon
 
3 February – Yaoundé (Olembe)
 
3rd Group C/E
 
Winner Quarter-final B
 
26 January – Douala
 
Winner Quarter-final CThird place play-off
 
Winner Group E
 
30 January – Yaoundé (Olembe)6 February – Yaoundé (Ahidjo)
 
  Egypt
 
Winner R16-M7Loser Semi-final 1
 
25 January – Yaoundé (Ahidjo)
 
Winner R16-M6Loser Semi-final 2
 
  Morocco
 
 
  Malawi
 

Round of 16

Burkina Faso  R16-M1  Gabon
Report

Nigeria  R16-M23rd Group E/F
Report

Guinea  R16-M4Runner-up Group F
Report

Cameroon  R16-M33rd Group C/E
Report

Senegal  R16-M5  Cape Verde
Report

Morocco  R16-M6  Malawi
Report

Winner Group ER16-M7  Egypt
Report

Winner Group FR16-M8Runner-up Group E
Report

Quarter-finals

Winner R16-M4Quarter-final BWinner R16-M3
Report

Winner R16-M1Quarter-final AWinner R16-M2
Report

Winner R16-M7Quarter-final CWinner R16-M6
Report

Winner R16-M5Quarter-final DWinner R16-M8
Report

Semi-finals

Winner Quarter-final ASemi-final 1Winner Quarter-final D
Report

Winner Quarter-final BSemi-final 2Winner Quarter-final C
Report

Third place play-off

Loser Semi-final 1vLoser Semi-final 2
Report

Final

Winner Semi-final 1vWinner Semi-final 2
Report

Statistics

Goalscorers

There have been 60 goals scored in 32 matches, for an average of 1.88 goals per match (as of 19 January 2022). Players highlighted in bold are still active in the competition.

5 goals

2 goals

1 goal

1 own goal

Broadcasting

Below the list of the 2021 AFCON broadcasting rights:[25]

Territory Rights holder(s) Ref.
Algeria Algerian TV1 [26]
Cameroon CRTV [27]
France beIN Sports [25]
Germany Sportdigital [25]
Netherlands ESPN [25]
Italy Discovery Channel [25]
Portugal Canal 11 [28]
United Kingdom [25]
Sub-Saharan Africa [25]
North Africa and Middle East beIN Sports [25]
Asia-Pacific
North America
South America ESPN [25]
Central America and Caribbean
North Europe NENT Group [25]
Eastern Europe Sport Klub [25]
World CAF TV (Youtube) [25]

Notes

  1. ^ The Mauritania v Gambia game was originally scheduled to begin at 17:00 but was delayed to 17:45 due to timing issues in the Tunisia v Mali match.

References

  1. ^ a b c d "CAF Executive Committee put infrastructures as one of the main priorities". CAF. 31 March 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  2. ^ a b "CAF postpones TotalEnergies Africa Cup final draw, new date to be set soon". CAF. 6 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Cameroon to host 2019, Cote d'Ivoire for 2021, Guinea 2023". CAF. 20 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Statement from the Organising Committee of the Total African Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021". CAF. 15 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Decisions of CAF Executive Meeting – 30 June 2020". CAF. 30 June 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Decisions made by the CAF Executive Committee, convened January 24th 2014" (PDF). Cafonline.com. 26 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Six nations submit bids for 2019 & 2021 Africa Cup of Nations". Goal.com. 27 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Nations Cup: 2019, 2012 and shock 2023 hosts unveiled by Caf". BBC Sport. 20 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Cameroon stripped of hosting 2019 Africa Cup of Nations". BBC. 30 November 2018.
  10. ^ "CAN 2019 : le pays hôte sera connu le 9 janvier". Le Monde (in French). 10 December 2018.
  11. ^ Etchells, Daniel (8 January 2019). "Egypt named as hosts of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations". www.insidethegames.biz.
  12. ^ "COTE D'IVOIRE AGREES CAF TIMETABLE SHIFT". CAF. 30 January 2019.
  13. ^ "CAF postpones 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for March". Goal.com. 15 March 2020.
  14. ^ "Confusion trails AFCON 2021 starting dates". thisdaylive.com. 19 June 2020.
  15. ^ "CAF reschedules AFCON, CHAN, interclub, cancels women AFCON". The Guardian. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  16. ^ "Cameroon 2021 qualifiers resume November, Qatar 2022 set for May 2021". CAF. 19 August 2020.
  17. ^ Oludare, Shina (24 November 2021). "Afcon 2021: Toghu unveiled as official match ball". Goal. Retrieved 2 January 2022.
  18. ^ "Cameroon-Tribune.com | Toute l'actualité de l'administration BIYA du jour à la une depuis Yaoundé". www.cameroon-tribune.com. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  19. ^ "TotalEnergies AFCON Cameroon match officials announced". Confederation of African Football. 21 December 2021.
  20. ^ "CAN 2021 : Le tirage au sort prévu au 15 août prochain". 21 July 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  21. ^ Bongben, Leocadia (19 July 2017). "Cameroon government moves to ease 2019 AFCON fears". BBC. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  22. ^ "The Six stadiums To Host Afcon 2021 Cameroon". camer237.com. 25 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  23. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (3 December 2018). "Football: Ready or not, here we come". The Africa Report.com.
  24. ^ "Regulations of the Africa Cup of Nations" (PDF). Confederation of African Football.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "TotalEnergies AFCON 2021 to be broadcast in over 150 countries". cafonline.com. 9 January 2022.
  26. ^ "L'EPTV achète 25 matchs de la CAN-2021". La Gazette du Fennec. Mohamed Touileb. 16 August 2021.
  27. ^ "La CAF annonce que la Crtv est le diffuseur hôte de la Can 2021". lebledparle.com. 21 December 2021.
  28. ^ "CAN 2021 vai ter transmissão no Canal 11". 10 January 2022. Retrieved 15 January 2022.

External links