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Football: Opening of 33rd edition of Africa Cup of Nations in Yaounde

The 33rd edition of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, hosted by Cameroon, opened today, Sunday. The go ahead was given by Cameroonian President Paul Biya before a stadium packed to the brim with fans and guests of the African continent.

The opening match opposed the Cameroonian national team to its Burkina Faso counterpart, at the “Paul Pia Stadium”, in the first group competitions. The tournament will continue until February 6.

The Algerian national team, the title holder, will start its participation in the competition, on Tuesday (14:00) against Sierra Leone in Douala for the fifth group.

The Africa Cup of Nations will be held with the participation of 24 teams for the second time in the history of the tournament, after “CAF” decided to increase the number of teams from 16 to 24 teams, as of the 2019 edition which was held in Egypt.

The teams were split into 6 groups, each comprising 4 teams, and the first and second places in the six groups qualified for the round of 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations, in addition to the best 4 third place holders from the groups.

It is expected that the matches of the tournament will witness a varying public attendance, after the Cameroon Football Association announced the approval of “CAF” to determine the attendance rate, which reached 80% of the stadium’s capacity in the matches of the Cameroonian team – the host country.

The attendance rate in the matches of the rest of the teams and groups is 60% of the stadium’s capacity, with an emphasis on the respect of the prevention measures against the Corona pandemic.

The tournament will be held in 5 different cities, namely Douala, Yaounde, Bafoussam, Gaara and Limbe.

The round of 16 matches will be held between January 23 and 26, 2022, and the quarterfinals will be played on January 29 and 30, 2021, with the semi-final matches to be played on February 2 and 3, 2022 and those related to the third and final place on February 6, 2022.

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