The best of football artistry will be on display as the 32nd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial continental men’s football championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) kicks off in Egypt today. For the first time in the competition’s history, 24 countries will battle for the top prize after CAF expanded the competition from 16. Some countries are returning to the championship after a long absence; others are making their debut in the foremost Africa football fiesta.
Also, CAF moved the tournament from the usual January/February to June/July for the first time, a development which will guarantee the participation of top stars, who were hitherto held back by their European clubsides. It is certain that fans would see their idols at their best.
The tournament was initially scheduled to be hosted by Cameroon and the West African nation would have hosted the competition for the first time since 1972 as the title holders after winning the previous edition. But last November 30, the continental football ruling body stripped Cameroon of the hosting right due to delays in the delivery of infrastructure, the Boko Haram insurgency.
On January 8, the last fell on Egypt the host nation. The tournament was also moved from June 15-July 13 to June 21 -July 19 due to the Ramadan.