Action returns across Africa for the last group games of the 2019 Africa Nations Cup with all 48 teams involved in hostilities on Friday 22 March and Saturday 23rd.
The 32nd Africa football showpiece will be hosted by Egypt after CAF withdrew the hosting right from Cameroon due to the slow pace in preparation for the tournament almost two years after they won the hosting right.
The 2019 edition, will for the first time since the inception of the tournament, witness 24 teams that will storm Pharoah country to fight for the most coveted football prize in Africa June 21 to July 19.
From Group A to Group L, some teams have already booked their place and will be playing the last game for formalities while others will be hoping to secure a victory that will see them qualify for the tournament.
While countries like Madagascar will be making their debut in Egypt, some notable teams will be watching others play during the summer of June 2019 as all leagues in Europe will be on break then.
Here are some countries who could miss out of Egypt in 2019.
ZAMBIA: The Chipolopolo of Zambia shocked the continent in 2012 when they defeated Cote D Ivoire 8-7 in a penalty shoot-out to lift the AFCON title in Equatorial Guinea.
The COSAFA champions have since been consistent in the tournament.
It is unfortunate that Zambia will not be among the teams to play in Egypt despite the tournament being expanded to 24 teams. They occupy the last position in Group K.
BURKINA FASO: Burkina Faso faces a daunting task to qualify for AFCON 2019 as they are in third place in Group I.
The Burkinabes have established themselves among Africa’s football powerhouse after they narrowly lost the title to Nigeria in 2013 in South Africa.
They finished fourth in 1998, second in 2013 and third in 2017.
They will host group leader, Mauritania at home and only a victory and Angola loses to Botswana will rescue them.
GABON: The Panthers of Gabon parade players that command the first-team jersey in their club in Europe including Arsenal forward. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, yet, their chance of qualifying for AFCON in Egypt is bleak.
Gabon will host Burundi and they need an outright victory to stop Burundi from reaching their first-ever Nations Cup final.
SOUTH AFRICA: The Bafana Bafana is walking on a tight rope ahead of their last group game against Libya.
South Africa could have saved themselves the problem of failing to qualify for the tournament if they had agreed to take up the hosting right when CAF stripped Cameroon.
Though they are second in Group E behind Nigeria, they could crash out of the tournament if they lose to Libya who will then have 10 points and overtake the Rainbow team to second place and qualify on a difference of one point.