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CHAN 2022: Expanded Tournament Set for Unusual Format

Morocco lift the 2020 Africa Nations Championship trophy
Morocco retained their Africa Nations Championship in Cameroon

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has announced the 2022 finals of its tournament for locally-based players will feature 18 teams instead of 16.

Algeria are due to host the African Nations Championships (CHAN) in January, which will now feature an usual format.

Caf say the finals will have five groups; three of which will have four nations, while the other two will be comprised of just three teams.

It means the top two from the four-team groups will be joined in the quarter-finals by the winners of the other two pools.

The statement from Caf confirmed the regionally-based qualifying draw will be held on 26 May, but did not name a venue.

The Central (set to include Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe) and Western A (set to include Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal) zones will both have an extra qualifying slot under the revised format.

Morocco will take part in the Northern Zone qualifiers as they bid to win the title for a third straight time, having defended it at the delayed 2020 finals which were held in Cameroon last year.

The delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic coupled with the World Cup in Qatar in November and December seem to be having a knock-on effect on the CHAN finals, which are scheduled for 8-31 January 2023.

Qualifying spots for CHAN 2022

  • Northern Zone – 2 places + hosts Algeria
  • Western Zone A – 3 places
  • Western Zone B – 3 places
  • Central Zone – 3 places
  • Central Eastern Zone – 3 places
  • Southern Zone – 3 places
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