FT 2019 Preview: AFCON19 is on the way!

Think about it for a second, all those young and old mesmerisers who continue to dominate the game on a global scale from the La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, Chinese Super League, ABSA etc. will come home to Africa and go at each other for the continent’s biggest prize.
— Dennis Takaendesa, FirstTouch Africa

Even though the host nation is yet to be confirmed this January after Cameroon was stripped of that right late in 2018 courtesy of infrastructure readiness and security concerns, a few other things are pretty certain. This will be the first time for the Africa Cup of Nations finals to feature 24 finalists, with more faces and flags bearing more hearts and an equal prospect of heartbreaks given the winner will always be one. Mean as it sounds, this is actually what makes a tournament go off the charts. The final 2019 qualification spots are yet to be filled with a heated final match day of the qualifiers coming to our screens from the 22nd to 26th of March 2019. The finals will run from the 7th of June up to the 30th, actually colliding with the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. Spectators of the game, have never been more captivated.

Morocco's forward Aziz Bouhaddouz (2nd-L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between Morocco and Togo in Oyem on January 20, 2017. / AFP / ISSOUF SANOGO  (Jan. 19, 2017 - Source: AFP)

Morocco's forward Aziz Bouhaddouz (2nd-L) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations group C football match between Morocco and Togo in Oyem on January 20, 2017. / AFP / ISSOUF SANOGO

(Jan. 19, 2017 - Source: AFP)

Your Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Naby Keita who are inspiring Liverpool’s premier league title charge will be there and perhaps as English champions by then. Heavyweights such as Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria and defending champions Cameroon have already confirmed their place bringing with them global stars such as Dutch Eredivisie’s Hakim Ziyech, Wilfried Zaha, Alexander Iwobi and PSG’s Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting. Homebred stars will also be in the hunt with Uganda’s Cranes being an instance of a squad adorned with such players, captained by Mamelodi Sundowns’ Denis Onyango who has the chance to enter the finals without conceding a single goal. Exciting debutants such as Madagascar are bound to have say. Think about it for a second, all those young and old mesmerisers who continue to dominate the game on a global scale from the La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League, Chinese Super League, ABSA etc. will come home to Africa and go at each other for the continent’s biggest prize. This time, with no club commitments at the back of their minds given most domestic leagues would have ended. There will be nothing but fireworks.

FirstTouch will be there and we will share the entire experience with you all.