Afcon 2013 will be held over a 22-day period from the opening match to the finals. There will be six match-free days in between, meaning, there will be 16 match days. For the most part, there will be two matches daily on those days. All matches will be televised live on SuperSport 4 which will be a 24hours . See our broadcast schedule for details.2. Teams and Groups:
Sixteen countries will be taking part in the tournament, with South Africa qualified as hosts. They are joined by 15 countries from the qualifying rounds that have produced casualties in a proportion never seen in the history of the tournament.
3. Missing in Action
The traditional powerhouses of the tournament will be missing, including Egypt, who have won the last three of the last four tournaments and seven in total (1957, 1959, 1986, 1998, 2006, 2008, 2010), Cameroon (1984, 1988, 2000, 2002) and Senegal.
4. Sweet Sixteen
The 16 teams have been grouped into four groups and will be based in five host cities – Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Durban, Nelspruit and Nelson Mandela Bay.
Group A: – South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, Morocco
Group B: – Ghana, DR Congo, Mali, Niger
Group C: – Zambia, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ethiopia
Group D: – Ivory Coast, Algeria, Togo, Tunisia
5. Format and Regulations
The 16 teams have been drawn into four groups of four each and will play a round-robin with mini-league groups. The top two teams from each group will progress to the quarterfinals. There will be six matches in each group and 24 in total during the group stage.
Article 72 of the CAF Africa Cup of Nations regulations clarifies the parameters that will determine who progresses from the group in the event of a tie. This will ease the pains of the qualifying rounds, when there was a lot of misinterpretation.
In case of equality of points between two or more teams, at the conclusion of the group matches, the ranking of the teams shall be established according to the following criteria:
72.1. Greater number of points obtained in the matches between the teams in question;
72.2. The best goal difference in the matches between the teams in question;
72.3. Greater number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
72.4. Goal difference in all group matches;
72.5. Greatest number of goals scored in all the group matches;
72.6. Fair Play points system taking into account the number of yellow and red cards;
72.7. Drawing of lots by CAF Organising Committee.
6. Knockout stage
This will be a straight elimination series with games played out for 90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of extra time and, ultimately, if no winner emerges after full time and extra time, they will go straight to penalty shoot-outs (five kicks each) and thereafter, sudden death penalty kicks until a winner emerges.
73.1. At the conclusion of the four group matches, the first and the second of each group shall be qualified for the quarterfinals.
The quarterfinal matches shall be played in the following order:
i. Winner Group A/Second Group B
ii. Winner Group B/Second Group A
iii. Winner Group C/Second Group D
iv. Winner Group D/Second Group C
73.2. The quarterfinal matches shall be played in accordance with the direct elimination system of the loser. An extra time of 2 x 15 minutes shall be eventually played in case of a draw after the regular time. If, after extra time, the result is still not decisive, the winner shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark.
73.3. The winners of the quarterfinals shall qualify for the semifinals. They shall be played in the following order:
– Winner of match (i) Winner of match (iii) or (iv)
– Winner of match (ii) Winner of match (iii) or (iv)
73.4. The semifinals shall be played in accordance with the same direct elimination system as applied in the quarterfinals.
73.5. The losers of the semifinals shall play a match for the third place. In case of a draw after the end of the regular time, the winner shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark.
73.6. The final shall be played between the winners of the semifinals. In case of a draw after the end of the regular time, an extra time of 2 x 15 minutes shall be played. If, after the extra time, the result is still not decisive, the winner shall be determined by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark.