HomeSportsFootballAfrica Cup of Nations: An ultimate guide prior to the Continental Showpiece
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Africa Cup of Nations: An ultimate guide prior to the Continental Showpiece

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The Africa Cup of Nations commences this Saturday with a Group A match-up featuring Ivory Coast as the host nation and Guinea-Bissau.

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Ivory Coast is hosting the largest African sports event for the second time, following Cameroon’s victory in 1984. Nigeria secured the second position, while Algeria claimed the third spot in the 1984 edition, which featured eight countries and spanned 15 days. Four decades later, the tournament has significantly expanded, now accommodating 24 participants. During Ivory Coast’s initial hosting in 1984, the team experienced a setback, securing a victory over Togo but suffering losses to Egypt and Cameroon. This led to their elimination after the group stage.

Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2024

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The 2024 tournament is scheduled to feature 52 matches spanning a 30-day period, with 36 matches distributed across six groups and 16 in the knockout phase. Abidjan, the commercial capital, will serve as the host for 20 matches in two stadiums, while Bouake will host nine, and San Pedro and Yamoussoukro will each host eight matches. Korhogo will be the venue for seven matches. The inaugural match between Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau, as well as the final on February 11, are part of the 10 fixtures slated for the new 60,000-seat Alhassane Ouattara stadium in Abidjan. Additionally, stadiums with capacities of 20,000 have been constructed in Korhogo, San Pedro, and Yamoussoukro specifically for the Cup of Nations. The 40,000-seat stadium in Bouake and the 30,000-capacity Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan have been renovated for the biennial tournament.

If teams end up with the same number of points in a mini league, the first tiebreaker will be their head-to-head records, followed by goal difference and then the number of goals scored in all group matches. If teams remain tied after these criteria, a random draw will be conducted to determine their final placings. The most recent instance of this tiebreaker occurred in 2015 when Guinea progressed to the quarterfinals, displacing Mali. VAR will be employed in all 52 matches, with a team of 12 officials assigned to monitor the games. Additionally, the tournament will feature 26 referees and 30 assistant referees.

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