2015 Africa Cup of Nations

January 6, 2015

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, also known as the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 2015 for sponsorship reasons, is scheduled to be the 30th edition of the African Cup of Nations, the international football championship of Africa. It is organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and held from 17 January to 8 February 2015.

The tournament was initially scheduled to be hosted by Morocco, who previously hosted it in 1988, but Morocco refused to host the tournament at the scheduled dates because of the Ebola Virus Epidemic in West Africa The host country was later changed to Equatorial Guinea.

CAF received 3 bids before 30 September 2010, the deadline, to host either the 2015 or 2017 Africa Cup of Nations from DR Congo, Morocco and South Africa. All three bids were originally put on a short list. However, Morocco was considered to be the most favorite to host the competition because of its highly developed infrastructure and advanced stadiums.[citation needed] CAF then began an inspection procedure, on November and December 2010, intending to visit each bidding country to view stadiums, infrastructure, and football interest. They inspected the DR Congo first. Shortly after the inspection, DR Congo informed CAF that they would be withdrawing their bids for both the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. Morocco was the next country to be inspected. South Africa was inspected last.

 

On 29 January, during the 2011 CAF Super Cup, the CAF Board decided that Morocco would host the 2015 African Cup of Nations. The four Morocco host cities which were scheduled to host the tournament were Rabat, Marrakesh, Agadir and Tangier, as announced by the CAF Executive Committee on 23 September 2013.Casablanca would serve as an alternative venue.

 

Moroccan withdrawal

In October 2014, the government of Morocco requested a postponement of the tournament due to the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. After the matter was discussed at the Executive Committee meeting on 2 November 2014, CAF decided to keep the date of the tournament, while also asking for a clarification from the Royal Moroccan Football Federation of whether they still wish to host the tournament. On 8 November, Morocco failed to meet this deadline to confirm it would host the tournament. Three days later CAF confirmed that Morocco would not host the tournament and a new host would be chosen from a list of countries which have expressed interest. Morocco, who had previously qualified as hosts, were disqualified from participation at the tournament. CAF confirmed legal action against Morocco due to a contract signed in April 2014. Moroccan Sports Minister Mohamed Ouzzine said that CAF had falsely accused his country of “refusing” to host the tournament when it wanted it postponed, and justified the decision by citing that the World Health Organization gives every country the right to protect its citizens.

Egypt, Ghana, South Africa and Sudan all declined to take over as hosts. Angola, the hosts of the 2010 edition, were spoken of as a potential replacement due to existing stadia and infrastructure in the country. However, a member of the Angolan Football Federation stated that it could not be possible as the new government budget did not include any tournaments.

On 14 November 2014, CAF announced that Equatorial Guinea would host the tournament.

 

Qualification

Qualification for the tournament were made up of four stages, three preliminary rounds and a final group stage. The 21 best-ranked teams were given a bye to the group stage, while the next 26 teams began play in the second preliminary round, and four lowest ranked teams started at the first round. The three preliminary rounds were a series of playoffs, with the winners advancing.

51 teams entered the tournament (excluding initial hosts Morocco). It was the competitive debut of South Sudan. Teams of Djibouti and Somalia declined to enter.

Morocco would have automatically qualified as hosts; however, after their refusal to host, they were expelled from the tournament by the CAF. Equatorial Guinea was chosen as the new host, and despite having played in the qualifiers and been disqualified due to fielding an ineligible player, they now qualify for the tournament automatically.

The defending champions Nigeria failed to qualify for the tournament.

Qualified teams

Team Method of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Previous best
performance
FIFA ranking
at start of event
 Equatorial Guinea Hosts 14 November 2014 2nd 2012 Quarter-finals (2012)
 Cape Verde Group F winners 15 October 2014 2nd 2013 Quarter-finals (2013)
 Algeria Group B winners 15 October 2014 16th 2013 Winners (1990)
 Tunisia Group G winners 14 November 2014 17th 2013 Winners (2004)
 South Africa Group A winners 15 November 2014 9th 2013 Winners (1996)
 Zambia Group F runners-up 15 November 2014 17th 2013 Winners (2012)
 Cameroon Group D winners 15 November 2014 17th 2010 Winners (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002)
 Gabon Group C winners 15 November 2014 6th 2012 Quarter-finals (1996, 2012)
 Burkina Faso Group C runners-up 15 November 2014 10th 2013 Runners-up (2013)
 Senegal Group G runners-up 15 November 2014 13th 2012 Runners-up (2002)
 Ivory Coast Group D runners-up 19 November 2014 21st 2013 Winners (1992)
 Ghana Group E winners 19 November 2014 20th 2013 Winners (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982)
 Guinea Group E runners-up 19 November 2014 11th 2012 Runners-up (1976)
 Mali Group B runners-up 19 November 2014 9th 2013 Runners-up (1972)
 Congo Group A runners-up 19 November 2014 7th 2000 Winners (1972)
 DR Congo Best third placed team 19 November 2014 17th 2013 Winners (1968, 1974)

 

Format

Only the hosts will get an automatic qualification spot, the other 15 teams will qualify through qualification tournament. At the finals, the 16 teams will be drawn into four groups of four teams each. The teams in each group play a single round robin. After group stage, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal losers will play in third place match, while winners will play in final.

 

Draw

The finals draw was held on 3 December 2014 in Malabo. It was initially to be held on 26 November 2014 in Rabat before the change of host country.[1][30]

The 16 teams were divided into four pots based on the CAF Ranking, with the hosts Equatorial Guinea placed in Pot 1 automatically.[31] The ranking is computed using the teams’ results in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers (weighted by 2), 2013 Africa Cup of Nations finals (weighted by 3) and qualifiers, the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations finals (weighted by 2) and qualifiers (weighted by 0.5), and the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Pot 1 Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
 Equatorial Guinea (host; assigned to A1)
Ghana (48 pts)
Ivory Coast (44 pts)
Zambia (41 pts)
 Burkina Faso (40 pts)
Mali (38 pts)
Tunisia (32.5 pts)
Algeria (28 pts)
 Cape Verde (26.5 pts)
South Africa (23.5 pts)
Cameroon (23.5 pts)
Gabon (22 pts)
 Guinea (19 pts)
Senegal (19 pts)
DR Congo (18 pts)
Congo (13 pts)

Match officials

The following referees were chosen for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Referees

Assistant referees

  • Albdelhak Etchiali
  • Jerson Emiliano Dos Santos
  • Jean-Claude Birumushahu
  • Oamogetse Godisamang
  • Evarist Menkouande
  • Yéo Songuifolo
  • Hassan Egueh Yacin
  • Tahssen Abo El Sadat Bedyer
  • Angesom Ogbamariam
  • Malik Alidu Salifu
  • Aboubacar Doumbouya
  • Marwa Range
  • Redouane Achik
  • Yahaya Mahamadou
  • Peter Edibe
  • Theogene Ndagijimana
  • Djibril Camara
  • El Hadji Malick Samba
  • Zakhele Siwela
  • Ali Waleed Ahmed
  • Anouar Hmila

 

Squads

Each team can register a squad of 23 players.

 

Group stage

The group winners and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals.

 

Tiebreakers

The teams are ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss). If tied on points, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:[28]

  • Number of points obtained in games between the teams concerned;
  • Goal difference in games between the teams concerned;
  • Goals scored in games between the teams concerned;
  • If, after applying criteria 1 to 3 to several teams, two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 4 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5 to 7 apply;
  • Goal difference in all games;
  • Goals scored in all games;
  • Drawing of lots

 

Group A

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Equatorial Guinea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to knockout stage
2  Burkina Faso 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Gabon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Congo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

First match(es) will be played on 17 January 2015. Source: CAF

17 January 2015
Equatorial Guinea Match 1  Congo Estadio de Bata, Bata
Burkina Faso Match 2  Gabon Estadio de Bata, Bata
21 January 2015
Equatorial Guinea Match 9  Burkina Faso Estadio de Bata, Bata
Gabon Match 10  Congo Estadio de Bata, Bata
25 January 2015
Gabon Match 17  Equatorial Guinea Estadio de Bata, Bata
Congo Match 18  Burkina Faso Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín

Group B

 

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Zambia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to knockout stage
2  Tunisia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Cape Verde 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4  DR Congo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

First match(es) will be played on 18 January 2015. Source: CAF

18 January 2015
Zambia Match 3  DR Congo Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
Tunisia Match 4  Cape Verde Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
22 January 2015
Zambia Match 11  Tunisia Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
Cape Verde Match 12  DR Congo Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
26 January 2015
Cape Verde Match 19  Zambia Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
DR Congo Match 20  Tunisia Estadio de Bata, Bata

Group C

 

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Ghana 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to knockout stage
2  Algeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3  South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Senegal 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

First match(es) will be played on 19 January 2015. Source: CAF

19 January 2015
Ghana Match 5  Senegal Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
Algeria Match 6  South Africa Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
23 January 2015
Ghana Match 13  Algeria Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
South Africa Match 14  Senegal Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
27 January 2015
South Africa Match 21  Ghana Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
Senegal Match 22  Algeria Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo

Group D

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Ivory Coast 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Advance to knockout stage
2  Mali 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3  Cameroon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4  Guinea 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

First match(es) will be played on 20 January 2015. Source: CAF

20 January 2015
Ivory Coast Match 7  Guinea Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
Mali Match 8  Cameroon Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
24 January 2015
Ivory Coast Match 15  Mali Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
Cameroon Match 16  Guinea Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
28 January 2015
Cameroon Match 23  Ivory Coast Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
Guinea Match 24  Mali Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo

 

 

Knockout stage

In the knockout stages, if a match is level at the end of normal playing time, extra time shall be played (two periods of 15 minutes each) and followed, if necessary, by kicks from the penalty mark to determine the winner, except for the play-off for third place where no extra time shall be played.

 

afcon

All times local (UTC+01:00).

Quarter-finals

31 January 2015
17:00

 

Winner Group A Match 25 Runner-up Group B

 

Estadio de Bata, Bata
Referee: ()
31 January 2015
20:00

 

Winner Group B Match 26 Runner-up Group A

 

Nuevo Estadio de Ebebiyín, Ebebiyín
Referee: ()
1 February 2015
17:00

 

Winner Group C Match 27 Runner-up Group D

 

Estadio de Mongomo, Mongomo
Referee: ()
1 February 2015
20:00

 

Winner Group D Match 28 Runner-up Group C

 

Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
Referee: ()

Semi-finals

4 February 2015
20:00

 

Winner Match 25 Match 29 Winner Match 28

 

Estadio de Bata, Bata
Referee: ()
5 February 2015
20:00

 

Winner Match 27 Match 30 Winner Match 26

 

Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
Referee: ()

Third place play-off

7 February 2015
17:00

 

Loser Match 29 Match 31 Loser Match 30

 

Nuevo Estadio de Malabo, Malabo
Referee: ()

Final

Main article: 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Final

8 February 2015
20:00

 

Winner Match 29 Match 32 Winner Match 30

 

Estadio de Bata, Bata
Referee: ()

 

Media

Broadcasting

Territory Channel Ref
 Australia beIN Sports
 Europe Eurosport
 South Africa SABC
 Arab world beIN Sports
 Senegal RTS
 Mali ORTM
 France Canal+ Group
 Ghana GTV
 Sub-Saharan Africa SuperSport
 United Kingdom British Eurosport
 United States beIN Sports
 Japan NHK
 Colombia Senal Colombia, Win Sports
 New Zealand SKY Sports
 Brazil SporTV
Asia Fox International Channels
 India Sony SIX

 

 

Match Ball

The new Adidas Africa Cup Ball is called Adidas Marhaba (that means Welcome) – The Africa Cup 2015 Ball was unveiled today following the controversy about the host situation for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

 

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