The most exciting Africa Cup of all time


24 Teams for the continental football championship of Africa, the 21. June begins in Egypt. Thanks to several innovations in the Africa Cup in 2019, and holds a number of Surprises.

Never before has the preparation of Africa was shaped Cups from complications like this Time. First, the actual host put Cameroon a failure: Although the Land of the “indomitable lions” was set for five years as the host of the soccer championship, it was not possible for the organizers to be prepared in time.

Finally, the Confederation of African football CAF Cameroon withdrew at the end of November 2018, the orientation of the tournament – due to delays in infrastructure projects at the planned locations. And also because of the political crisis between the government and the Anglophone part of the country. At the beginning of January Egypt as a replacement was determined to be host.

Commissions required

Subsequently, the Comoros, and ended up in qualifying behind Cameroon at the International court of arbitration for sport (CAS) filed a lawsuit against the participation of Cameroon: According to the orientation of the country should remain in the participation in the tournament is denied. However, the Petition to the island-state remained without success.

At the beginning of June, finally, two weeks before the start of the tournament, was Ahmad Ahmad, President of the African football Association visited in his Hotel by the police, to be of special Anti-corruption investigators interviewed. And directly after the two-day Meeting of an extraordinary Commission, which had to make a decision about the scandalous return of the Champions League final between Espérance Sportive de Tunis (Tunisia) and Wydad Casablanca (Morocco). In this match there was a heated argument between the two Teams to the recognition of a gate.

Exhaustion prior to the starting whistle

But now the focus is fully on the football. Many actors in Africa, can’t wait for the tournament on the 21. June finally starts. Until the final on 19. July will make 24 Teams in six stages with each other: three in Cairo, one in Alexandria, Ismaïlia, and Suez.

For the first Time in its history, the Africa Cup of Nations will take place in the summer. At temperatures of over 30 degrees, a real challenge for the participating teams and not the only one, says football expert Zoubaier Baya. “Most of the players who will participate at the Africa Cup of Nations, have contested this season through 40 games. For those who play in Europe, there are already over 50 games,” says the Tunisians, who kicked formerly at SC Freiburg, and today as an expert on Abu Dhabi Sports works. “And now you want to in this heat again. This is not only the body, but also on the Psyche. The are also only humans.”

A Lot Of Games

A further innovation for this tournament: for the First time 24 Teams will participate in the finals. Baya, the new System rejects rigorously: “I’m totally against it, because this will reduce the quality,” he says. Just like the European championship can qualify now the group’s third for the round of sixteen. The Teams could make it so in the first game is still easy on the criticism – not, as in the case of a tournament with 16 Teams, where it goes right from the start everything.

Conversely, the new mode can provide but also for Surprises. The Patrick Mboma at least. For the former Cameroonian striker and two-time African champion (2000, 2002) is: “in the past, the big Teams were able to rotate after two Victories a bit. Today this is no longer possible. The favorites to qualify now, before the smaller Nations, which have until the end of the group stage, a Chance for more to come.”

The Favorites: Egypt, Senegal, Morocco

Mohamed Salah celebrated one of his many hits

The charm of the African Cup of Nations, for many, is that you can never really see what’s going to happen. So Cameroon in 2017 made it one of the supposedly weakest team in the country’s recent football history to win the trophy.

This year, however, are traded in three other countries is quite high: Egypt, Senegal and Morocco. “In Africa, you can always assume that the host is the favorite,” says Zoubaier Baya. “With Mohamed Egypt Salahhat a Top player who is just at the peak of his career. And the Egyptian audience is, of course, also play a role.” As the record winners of the Africa Cup, The pharaohs would “” probably nothing, to be an eighth Time to be crowned.

But Senegal has strong arguments. This includes Stars such as centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly, who else plays at SSC Napoli, and winger Sadio Mané from FC Liverpool. “Even if Mané stands out in this Team, of course, he remains a player who works for his Team. This increases the chances for Senegal,” says Baya. And then you must of course have Morocco in the list.

The North Africans have with Hakim Ziyech, a highly talented player in their ranks. But this is not the only trump card. “Morocco has a lot of experienced players, but in Herve Renard, especially a very experienced coach who has won the tournament twice with two different teams. This makes Morocco a particularly strong.”

An outside chance

In addition to these three Teams, there are a number of other teams with title ambitions. As is to be expected, for example, with the defending Champions Cameroon to, “even if you never really know how it will run,” said Patrick Mboma. “Nobody would have bet on Cameroon in 2017 would win the Cup. And what happened?

The “Indomitable lions” have won. Everyone thought that the Team would qualify for the world Cup in 2018 – and then you are failed with a Bang. You have to wait and see what coach Clarence Seedorf for a Team.”

Nigeria and Ghana could also play an important role to play in this tournament, “even if you are just stable,” said Baya. He sees Algeria as an insider’s tip: “The coach (Djamel Belmadi, op. the Red.) is still young, but very competent. And a lot of players from the Algerian team had a very good season.

As Baghdad Boudjenah, shoots in Qatar gates on a conveyor belt, or Sofiane Feghouli, who has just won with Galatasaray the Double”. Tunisia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo experts on outsider-chances.

And a wish for all Involved. The many scandals finally back in the Background, and Africa show that it has to offer above all: A lot of football quality.