The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is finally here, and host Cameroon will kick off the competition on the opening day of the tournament on Sunday.
The Indomitable Lions, who last won the tournament in 2017, will be one of 24 nations that will seek to succeed Algeria as African champions. Led by Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez and striker Baghdad Bounedjah, the Algerians had a memorable run in 2019 towards their second AFCON crown, beating Senegal in the final. The Senegalese, who are the bookies’ favorites to win it all, are expected to be contenders again and open the game on the second day of the tournament.
Senegal have a star-studded front row led by Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. His teammate Mohamed Salah is arguably the biggest star of the event and will come under pressure to help lead Egypt to their first AFCON championship since 2010. Ajax forward Sebastien Haller (Ivory Coast) is another fit candidate for starring in AFCON.
Given the increase in COVID-19 cases worldwide attributed to the omicron variant, organizers are taking precautions and matches will be held in front of small crowds with only vaccinated fans get admission. What is clear is that there will be no postponements and 11 players will be enough for any team to take the field. The expanded rosters of 28 players and five substitutes (including a sixth for overtime) are expected to help coaches overcome potential outbreaks.
How to watch AFCON 2022
- Dates: January 9 to February 6 (52 games)
- Times: 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Eastern time
- TV channels: beIN Sports, beIN Sports XTRA
- Spanish television: beIN Sports in Spanish, beIN Sports XTRA in Spanish
- Transmission: fuboTV, beIN Sports Connect and other platforms
The AFCON tournament will be hosted by beIN Sports in the US and Canada, and coverage will be available in both English and Spanish.
The cable and satellite television channels beIN Sports and beIN Sports en Español will broadcast the games, as will the free channel beIN Sports XTRA. Fans can access all of them. on fuboTV, which available to new users via free trial.
The beIN broadcasts are also available to Fanatiz and YouTube TV users. And since beIN XTRA is free, it is available at a host of other streaming platforms including Roku and Pluto TV.
AFCON 2022 Matches Today
As is customary for major football events around the world, the host nation will start in Group A.
Cameroon is considered the best team in its four-team group, but will have a difficult opening test against a competitive team from Burkina Faso. That match will be followed by the other two teams from Group A facing each other at the same Stade d’Olembe in the capital, Yaoundé.
The bookies have Cameroon as the big favorite to finish atop Group A with Burkina Faso projected as the second best team in the group and battling Cape Verde for second place behind the Indomitable Lions. Ethiopia doesn’t have much of a chance of advancing, but it could prove doubters wrong with a good opening game.
Sunday, January 9
|Coincide||Time (ET)||TV channels||Stream|
|Cameroon vs. Burkina Faso (Group A)||11am||beIN XTRA and XTRA Spanish||fuboTV|
|Ethiopia vs. Cape Verde (Group A)||14:00||beIN XTRA and XTRA Spanish||fuboTV|
On the second day of the competition, Monday, January 10, fans will enjoy four games as Groups B and C begin with all teams in action.
Monday, January 10
|Coincide||Time (ET)||TV channels||Stream|
|Senegal vs Zimbabwe (Group B)||8 am||beIN Sports, beIN in Spanish||fuboTV|
|Morocco vs. Ghana (Group C)||11am||beIN XTRA and XTRA Spanish||fuboTV|
|Guinea vs Malawi (Group B)||11am||– (4 pm on beIN Sports)||–|
|Comoros vs. Gabon (Group C)||14:00||beIN Sports, beIN in Spanish||fuboTV|
AFCON 2022 tournament format
Like other continental championships and World Cup tournaments, the African Nations Cup begins with a group stage, followed by knockout rounds until the final.
- Group stage: January 9-20
- Round of 16: January 23-26
- Quarter finals: January 29-30
- Semifinals: February 2 and 3
- Third place: February 6th
- Final: February 6th
The 24 nations are divided into six groups of four nations each. At the end of the free-for-all group game, with three points awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss, the top two teams in each group based on points (and tiebreakers, if necessary) advance to the knockout stages. The remaining places in the round of 16 will be filled by the four best third-placed teams.
A predetermined knockout group will be played until the final. If any knockout game ends in a tie after 90 minutes, the teams will play 30 minutes of overtime. If the tie persists, a penalty shoot-out will determine the team to follow. The game for third place is the only one that would skip overtime and go directly to the penalty shoot-out in the event of a tie.
For the first time in the competition’s history, all 52 matches will feature the use of a video assistant referee (VAR).
Who will win AFCON 2022?
Judging by BetMGM’s odds, we could be in another Senegal-Algeria final. Nations were given the lowest odds of winning it all and their odds were only lowered in the week prior to the start of AFCON. Senegal has a slight advantage over defending champion Algeria.
It’s no surprise to see some of the other traditional African powers on the list of the 10 nations most likely to win, but based on moving the odds, it seems bettors have been fading Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana and Tunisia in front. above.
|Senegal||+350 (from +550)|
|Algeria||+450 (from +600)|
|Ivory Coast||+750 (no change)|
|Egypt||+800 (from +600)|
|Cameroon||+850 (from +800)|
|Morocco||+850 (from +900)|
|Nigeria||+1000 (from +800)|
|Mali||+1600 (from +2200)|
|Ghana||+1800 (from +1400)|
|Tunisia||+2200 (from +1600)|