The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is set to begin later today, with a clash pitting the host nation Egypt against Zimbabwe.
The much-anticipated competition promises to give football fans from across the world something to cheer on for the next four weeks.
Big name stars including Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama, Riyad Mahrez, John Mikel Obi and many more will be showcasing their talents in Egypt.
The 2019 tournament is set to record history in many ways, including; being the first AFCON competition to have 24 participants, being the first AFCON played in the middle of the year (June-July) and also being the first AFCON to employ the use of VAR.
Ahead of kick off tonight, CGTN gives you a sneak peak into the stadiums that will host the 52 games.
Egypt announced that it would use six venues for the games. Here are the selected stadia;
- Cairo International Stadium
City : Cairo
Capacity : 75,000
The Cairo International stadium is located in the Nasr City suburb towards the north-east of the Cairo Metropolitan area. It was officially opened in 1960, and is largely considered the home ground for Egypt’s national football team. No local team claims it as their home ground, though teams like Al Ahly and Zamalek often use it for high profile games.
CIS will host 10 games during AFCON 2019, including the opening match, as well as the final game. In total, it will host 10 games.
- 30 June Stadium
Capacity : 30,000
The 30 June Stadium was the only stadium that did not require any renovations ahead of AFCON 2019. CAF approved the venue in February, just a few weeks after the North African country won the rights to host the tournament.
Located in Caro, the stadium was built by the Egyptian Air Defense Forces. It will also host 10 matches during the tournament.
- Al Salam Stadium
City : Cairo
Capacity : 30,000
The Al Salam Stadium was built in 2009 ahead of the U-20 World Cup. Located in Cairo, it mainly hosts games for local team El Entag El Harby, and at times Al Ahly. Just like the first two, the venue will host 10 AFCON games.
- Alexandria Stadium
City : Alexandria
Capacity : 20,000
The Alexandria Stadium is a 20,000 capacity venue that will be used as the fourth pitch during AFCON 2019.
is located in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and is regarded as the oldest football Stadium in Egypt and one of the oldest still in use across the whole of the continent, having been built in 1929.
The stadium is home to Egyptian Premier League sides Al Ittihad, Smouha and Olympic Club and it is known locally as the ‘home of football’.
Alexandria Stadium will host seven games.
- Suez Stadium
City : Suez
Capacity : 27,000
Located in the Canal region, the Suez Stadium will host international matches for the first time ever. The venue will be used mainly for Group E matches. In total, it will host 8 games during AFCON 2019.
City : Ismailia
Capacity : 18,525
Ismailia Stadium is the sixth venue for AFCON 2019 matches. The venue will host Group F matches, and it total see seven games played in it.
It is the home ground of local side Ismaily SC.