When does AFCON start? Key dates for Manchester United and Man City

Premier League clubs have bid farewell to many of their key players this month with the start of the Africa Cup of Nations.

The players who were called up for the tournament were due to join their respective teams early last week, but the African Football Confederation has accepted a request from European clubs to keep their players for New Years matches.

Manchester United are deprived of three players due to the tournament, along with Eric Bailly, Amad Diallo and Hannibal Mejbri, while Manchester City bid farewell to Riyad Mahrez.

The exact duration of these players’ unavailability remains to be seen, however, as it depends on the success of their nations in the tournament.

However, the tournament dates are set in stone and we’ve rounded up all the key details below.

When does the Africa Cup of Nations start?

The Africa Cup of Nations will kick off in Cameroon on Sunday January 9 and end on Sunday February 6, 2022.

The tournament begins with the group stages, while the knockout stages start on January 23 and end until the final.

Group stage: From Sunday January 9 to Thursday January 20

round of 16: Sunday January 23 to Wednesday January 26

Quarterfinal: From Saturday January 29 to Sunday January 30

Semi-finals: From Wednesday February 2 to Thursday February 3

Match for third place: Sunday February 6

Final: Sunday February 6



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Amazon’s first Premier League matches will be the 10 matches of Matchday 14 between Tuesday November 30 and Thursday December 2.

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What is the format?

The tournament will consist of 24 teams which have been divided into six groups of four teams.

The winner and runner-up will advance to the round of 16, along with the top four teams ranked third.

If national teams finish tied on points, their position will be determined by the number of points obtained in the matches before the goal difference and away goals scored.

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

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