In 30 days, Africa and the whole world will vibrate to the rhythm of the spectacle offered by the top footballers on the continent as the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations kicks start on January 9, 2021 in Cameroon.
All of Africa’s biggest stars – who feature in top African, Asian or European club championships will return home to battle for supremacy in Cameroon next year.
For the 33rd edition of the biggest event on African soil, the AFCON returns to the country of legends like Roger Milla, Samuel Eto’o and Patrick Mboma, for the first time since 1972. The host will be seeking to win the tournament this time around after failing to win the trophy when Cameroon hosted the tournament in 1972 which was eventually won by Congo.
Five cities and six stadiums: Olembe and Ahmadou Ahidjo stadiums in Yaoundé, the Japoma stadium in Douala, the Kouekong stadium in Bafoussam, the Roumdé Adjia stadium in Garoua and the Limbe Omnisports Stadium will host the event.
Worldwide coverage of the AFCON
With broadcasters from all corners of the world having acquired the rights to show the event from January 9 to February 6, 2022, there is no doubt that the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations is still amongst the biggest events globally. With countdown now underway, the world waits for the stars to deliver magic on Cameroonian soil.
Star players such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Riyad Mahrez, Sebastien Haller, Edouard Mendy, Afsha and Soufiane Rahimi will have all eyes on them, even if the prospect of discovering new talents is enticing.
With his superb form this season, Edouard Mendy, Senegalese goalkeeper of English Premier League club, Chelsea, is acclaimed by sports journalists from his country as the best Senegalese Player of the Year 2021 ahead of Sadio Mané (Liverpool, England) and Ismaila Sarr (Watford, England).
The Teranga Lions of Senegal, who were the first side to qualify for AFCON 2021, are arguably one of the favorites for next year’s competition with goalkeeper Mendy expected to play a key role in the squad. Currently, Senegal is Africa’s best-placed country in the latest FIFA rankings.
The Teranga Lions will however, face fierce competition from countries such as Cameroon, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco. But with the pace of transformation and improvement in football on the continent, no team can be underrated in the competition next year.
Previous Edition of AFCON
In the previous edition in 2019, 102 goals were scored in 52 matches, an average of two goals per match.
For the second time, 24 teams will participate and fight for the trophy next year. In addition to the high number of stars involved, this competition attracts media from all over the world with journalists from 59 countries applying to cover the tournament, according to the continent’s football governing body, CAF.
Algeria won the last African Cup of Nations held in 2019, recording a 1–0 victory against Senegal in the final. The title was Algeria’s second ever and first since 1990 with Algeria making history as the country who won the tournament for the first time since it was expanded from 16 to 24 teams. The Super Eagles of Nigeria came third after beating Tunisia 1–0 in their third-place decider match.
Egypt is the most successive team on the continent, having won the AFCON 7 times, with a remarkable treble in 2006, 2008, and 2010. The Indomitable Lions of Cameroon are the second most successive team on the continental showpiece having won the title in 1984, 1988, 2000, 2002, and 2017. The Black Stars of Ghana will however, hope to break their forty-year title drought next year having won the trophy four times in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982. TotalEnergies TotalEnergies TotalEnergies