As the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations draws closer, football fans worldwide are bracing themselves for an extraordinary event set to unfold in Côte d’Ivoire. With the tournament kickstarting on Saturday, January 13, anticipation is reaching fever pitch, as this highly anticipated spectacle promises to deliver footballing brilliance, gripping drama, and indelible memories.
The opening match on January 13 will witness hosts Côte d’Ivoire go head-to-head against Guinea-Bissau at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan. The stage is set for an electrifying clash that will ignite the tournament and set the tone for the battles to come.
From January 15 to January 24, football enthusiasts will be treated to a feast of matches during the group stage. Each day will showcase two thrilling games held across various stadiums and cities. Brace yourself for riveting encounters, including the highly anticipated Group B showdown between the record seven-time champions, Egypt, and Mozambique.
Defending champions Senegal will lock horns with The Gambia in Group C, creating an atmosphere of intense competition and excitement.
As the group stage concludes, the tournament will escalate to the knockout rounds, with the last 16 matches scheduled for January 27. The quarter-finals, featuring the victorious teams from the previous round, will take place on February 2, at the iconic Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan.
February 7, will mark a pivotal moment in the competition as the semi-finals unfold. The triumphant teams from the quarter-finals will battle it out at Bouake and the Alassane Ouattara Stadium.
Excitement will reach its zenith as the finalists emerge, ready to showcase their talent and vie for the coveted title.
The tournament will culminate with a gripping match for third place on February 10, at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium.
Despite the departure of key players, such as Sadio Mane, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Edouard Mendy, to the Saudi Pro League, reigning champions Senegal remain the frontrunners to clinch the title. However, they face formidable challenges from other powerhouses like Morocco, Nigeria, Algeria, and the host nation, Côte d’Ivoire.
Notably, Morocco seeks to claim AFCON glory following their recent World Cup semi-final appearance, adding an extra layer of intensity to the competition.