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AFCON final qualifiers: Five matches to keep an eye on



The Black Stars, leaders of the group, have nine points but could be eliminated on goal difference if Angola beat Madagascar and the Ghanaians lose in their home match in Kumasi.

There are only nine places left in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 and the slots will be filled in this week’s final round of qualifiers.

At the end of the sixth and final day of the qualifiers this week, all 24 African nations qualified for Africa’s biggest football spectacle will be officially confirmed.

CAFOnline takes a look at five key fixtures where the stakes are at an all-time high.


Cameroon – Burundi


Two teams with a contrasting record when it comes to the  CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

Cameroon are five-time winners of the tournament while Burundi are dreaming of a second appearance at the competition.

Closely tied on 4 points, any loser between this tie will automatically lose out on a trip to Cote d’Ivoire.

The Indomitable Lions will count on the goalkeeping presence of André Onana. The Cameroonian shot-stopper, who has come out of international retirement to bolster Rigobert Song’s squad.

Veteran striker, Vincent Aboubakar will also draw confidence from playing in front of his home crowd  Garoua.


Looking at into the nest of the Swallows, Étienne Ndayiragije will be counting on dangerman, Bon Fils Caleb and Saido Berahino to get the result for the east African side.



DR Congo – Sudan

The Democratic of Congo were languishing at the bottom of Group I with 0 points after their first two games of the qualifiers.


This prompted emergency changes for the Leopards which saw Hector Cuper being replaced by Sebastien Desarbre.

The change immediately brought results with the Leopards getting a 3-0 win over Mauritania and 2-0 win over Gabon.

Facing Sudan will not be easy for the west Africans but will be hoping that home ground advantage plays to their favour in Kinshasa.


Another crucial fixture is in Group I that will be closely contested by two sides.


Equal on points and just separated by goal difference, Mauritania and Gabon will leave everything on the field when they meet in Nouakchott, Mauritania.

The Panthers will be relying on the experience of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but will be without the services of Andre Poko as well as Lloyd Palun.


Ghana – Central African Republic

A tricky assignment awaits the Black Stars. Even though Ghana top Group E with nine points, Chris Hughton’s men face a Central African Republic (CAR) side that is just two points behind them.


CAR will be gunning for a full haul of points to secure their first ever  CAF AFCON appearance while the four-time champions Black Stars need just a draw at home in Kumasi to advance.

Angola – Madagascar

One of the key fixtures of the group decider will be Angola against Madagascar. With the islanders already out of contention, Angola could spoil the party for the Black Stars.

The Palancas Negras are a point behind Ghana and should they win and the Black Stars lose to CAR, it could spell disaster for the west Africans in what would be a huge upset in the group.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.


Thank you, Morocco!




The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Dr. Patrice Motsepe has expressed deep gratitude to the Kingdom of Morocco, the country that has bailed out the confederation and many African countries by hosting most of the football events.

The Africa Cup of Nations 2025 as well as the women’s edition will be hosted by the North African country.

An appreciative Motsepe remarked: “I am confident that the CAF TotalEnergies AFCON Morocco 2025 will be extremely successful and will be the best AFCON in the history of this competition.


“I am also impressed by the enormous growth of Women’s Football in Africa and I am expecting the CAF TotalEnergies WAFCON Morocco 2024 to be immensely successful.

“ We will continue to make significant progress in developing and ensuring that African Football is globally competitive and amongst the best in the World.

“CAF is grateful to King Mohamed VI of Morocco, the Fédération Royale Marocaine de Football (FRMF), its President Fouzi Lekjaa, the Government and people of Morocco for hosting the CAF TotalEnergies AFCON Morocco 2025 and the CAF TotalEnergies WAFCON Morocco 2024.”

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Why it took us a long time to announce AFCON & WAFCON dates – CAF



Liberia and Eswatini take control of AFCON preliminary ties

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed the earlier dates of the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations announced by Sports Village Square Friday afternoon.

As reported, the Africa Cup of Nations will run from 21 December 2025 to 18 January 2026 while the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations scheduled for this year also in Morocco will hold from 5 to 26 July 2026, suffering a year postponement.

According to a press statement by CAF, the announcement of the dated took much longer than expected, “as there were complex and at times challenging discussions with various interested parties, in the light of the extensive International and Domestic Match Calendars.”

Continuing, CAF stated that it is “committed to protecting and advancing the interests of African players, playing in football clubs in Europe and worldwide. CAF is also committed to building mutually beneficial relationships with the ECA, UEFA, other Football Confederations and FIFA.”

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EXCLUSIVE: AFCON 2025 now to run across two years



CAF Enters Negotiation With FIFA, Morocco And European Clubs Over AFCON 2025 Timing -

At last a date has now been fixed for the Africa Cup of Nations 2025 slated for Morocco. Sports Village Square has gathered that the championship will now hold from 21 December 2025 to 18 January 2026.

That is one of the decisions taken by the executive committee of the Confederation of African Football (CAF)  which held a virtual meeting about two hours ago.

The confederation has been having headache over the timing of the tournament which initially was scheduled for the January-February calendar. That period proved impossible owing to congested fixtures that has scuppered the qualifying series.

Available windows are already taken up by the qualifying series for the 2026 World Cup making it impossible for the 24 finalists for the AFCON 2025 to emerge before January 2025.

Morocco proposed the tournament for the summer of 2025, but the inaugural 32-format FIFA Club World Cup of 2025 has made that impossible.


Other worries of CAF include the timing for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco this year which is yet to get a date and the annual Women’s Champions League which till now has no hosts let alone a date.

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