How a 24 team AFCON will work

By Clive Kyazze

The 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations will have 24 countries and not the usual 16 for the first time in history, it was the same case with the 2016 European Champions in France.

And because we have been so used to a 16 team tournament at this level and a 32 team world Cup, the journey from the group stage to the finals has never been hard to follow.

Well, a 24 team tournament is just as a 16 or 32 team tournament, and also the 48 World Cup when it comes around in 2026.

The 24 teams are already drawn into six groups of four teams, with the hosts, in this case, Egypt seeded in Group A

The top two teams of each group, along with the best four third-placed teams, will advance to the round of 16.

Initially, it was from the group stages straight to the quarterfinals, that has changed with a round 16 being the starting stage of the knockout phase.

The four best third-placed teams will play against the winners of the particular groups but none in their half of the draw.

If one of the four third best-placed team comes from either Group B, E or F, they will play the winner of Group D, if they happen to come from Groups A, C or D they will play the winner of Group B.

Group C winners will face the third best-placed team from either group A, B or F, while Group A winners will face the third-placed team from either group C, D or E.

Group F and E winners will face the second-placed teams in Groups E and D respectively while the Group F winner will face the runner up in Group E.

There actually two scenarios where a group runner-up faces another group runner up, the second team in Group A and B will faceoff Group C and F runner-up respectively at the round of 16

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