African Nations Championship: Chan teams, fixtures, dates & venue

Morocco CHAN 2018 champions
Goal has the ultimate guide for the next iteration of the biennial African Nations Championship, which is due to take place in January 2021

The sixth edition of the African Nations Championship is set to begin on January 16 2021, with the tournament pushed back from its original start date in April 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 16-team tournament consists of four groups of four, with two teams advancing from each, before quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final.

2018 winners Morocco will be there to defend their title, and are among the hot favourites for the tournament, which is a hotly anticipated return to continental competition following a quiet year of international football in 2020 due to coronavirus.

Goal takes a look at everything you need to know about the tournament.

  1. What is the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan)?
  2. Which teams qualified for the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan)?
  3. Which venues will be used for the 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan)?
  4. 2020 African Nations Championship (Chan) fixtures & dates

What is the 2020 African Nations Championship?

The African Nations Championship is a biennial African football competition exclusively for players based in their home nations.

The competition was original planned to be hosted by Ethiopia, but will now be held in Cameroon after the Ethiopian federation pulled out of hosting.

However, the Central African nation have come under pressure due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, and due to civil unrest in the South-West region, which is home to one of the host stadiums.

Indeed, reports of vehicles being destroyed on the stadium perimeter on Thursday, an act later claimed by a separatist group, is a worrying distraction only days before the tournament begins.

16 nations will contest the competition, with hosts Cameroon being joined by 15 qualifiers.

Unlike for the Africa Cup of Nations, qualification takes place on a regional basis, with Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa among the major teams to have missed out on the tournament. It's a particular disappointment for Nigeria's home-based Eagles, who were defeated finalists three years ago.

The competition began in 2009, with the Democratic Republic of Congo - with two titles - the most successful team in the tournament's history. The Leopards will again be in contention this time around.

DR Congo lift CHAN 2016 trophy

Which teams qualified for 2020 African Nations Championship?

Cameroon (hosts)

Congo

DR Congo - Two time former champions (2006 & 2009)

Rwanda

Tanzania - Second ever appearance in the competition

Uganda

Libya - Champions in 2014

Morocco - Defending champions

Namibia - Quarter-finalists two years ago

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Guinea

Mali - Runners-up in 2016

Burkina Faso

Niger

Togo - Debutants

Which venues will be used for the 2020 African Nations Championship?

The tournament will be hosted in four stadiums in three separate cities in Cameroon. Douala boasts two stadiums - the 50,000 Japoma Stadium and the 30,000 Stade de la Reunification.

In the capital, Yaounde, players will take to the field at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, while it is the choice of Limbe Stadium in Limbe - where the attack occured on Thursday - that has generated some controversy.

Three of the stadiums - with the exception of the Stade de la Reunification - have been pencilled in as venues for next year's Africa Cup of Nations.

2020 African Nations Championship fixtures to watch & dates

The tournament kicks off on January 16, at 17h local time, with a meeting between hosts Cameroon and dark horses Zimbabwe.

The other two teams in Group A - Mali and Burkina Faso - meet later that evening.

In Group B, the pick of the group-stage clashes is Sunday's showdown between neighbours DR Congo and Congo-Brazzaville, the former, in particular, are expected to deliver a strong showing in nearby Cameroon.

Morocco, the defending champions, are the team to watch in Group C, although they'll be tested by a tough First Round draw after being pitted against Uganda, Rwanda and Togo. The last of the quartet, making their first appearance at the competition, will be hoping to make a strong showing in light of the recent toil of the full senior men's team.

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Group D looks open, with Namibia - one of the surprise packages three years ago - an intriguing prospect. Tanzania, Zambia and Guinea complete the group.

The final will take place in Yaounde on February 7.

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