The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the most prominent international men's association football competition on the continent. It was held for the first time in 1957 under the supervision of the African Football Confederation (CAF). Since 1968, it has been held every two years, with odd-numbered years becoming even-numbered in 2013.

For the 33rd time, the AFCON will be held. The tournament, which began on January 9 and ends on February 6, 2022, is being hosted by Cameroon. It was intended to happen in the summer of 2021, in June and July. Due to adverse weather conditions within that time frame, the CAF announced in January 2020 that it will be postponed to take place between 9 January and 6 February 2021.

The CAF changed the tournament's dates to January 2022 for the second time in 2020, but preserved the name 2021 Africa Cup of Nations for sponsorship purposes, due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak across the continent. Algeria, the current winners and two-time champions, will be unable to defend their title after being eliminated in the Group Stage.

AFCON 2021 Playoffs: Format

The final event has a total of 24 teams. Only the hosts qualified automatically, with the remaining 23 teams competing in a qualifying competition. The 24 teams competing in the finals were divided into six groups of four. Each group's teams competed in a single round-robin tournament.

The top two teams from each group, as well as the four highest-ranking third-placed teams, progressed to the Round of 16 after the Group Stage. The winners will progress to the Quarter-Finals, and four of them will then advance to the Semi-Finals. The losers of the Semi-Finals will compete in a third-place match, while the winners will clash in the Final.

If a match is tied at the completion of 90 minutes of normal playtime in the Playoffs, except for the third-place match, extra time will be played (two periods of 15 minutes each). If the game is still tied after extra time, the triumphant will be determined by a penalty shoot-out. If the scores are tied after 90 minutes in the third-place game, it will proceed straight to a penalty shoot-out, with no additional time being played.

AFCON 2021 Playoffs: Teams

The two best-placed nations from each of the six groups, as well as the four best third-placed teams, advanced to the Playoffs.

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso

Group B: Senegal, Guinea

Group C: Morocco, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt

Group E: Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea

Group F:  Mali, Gambia

Third-placed teams: Cape Verde,  Malawi, Comoros, Tunisia

AFCON 2021 Playoffs: Schedule and How to Watch in the US

Round of 16

Sunday, January 23

Burkina Faso vs Gabon

Nigeria vs Tunisia

Monday, January 24

Guinea vs Gambia

Cameroon vs Comoros

Tuesday, January 25

Senegal vs Cape Verde

Morocco vs Malawi

Wednesday, January 26

Ivory Coast vs Egypt

Mali vs Equatorial Guinea

Quarter-Finals

Saturday, January 29

QF 1: Round-of-16 game 4 winner vs Round-of-16 game 3 winner

QF 2: Round-of-16 game 1 winner vs Round-of-16 game 2 winner,

Sunday, January 30

QF 3: Round-of-16 game 7 winner vs Round-of-16 game 6 winner

QF 4: Round-of-16 game 5 winner vs Round-of-16 game 8 winner

Semi-Finals

Wednesday, February 2

SF 1: QF 1 winner vs QF 4 winner

Thursday, February 3

SF 2: QF 2 winner vs QF 3 winner

Third-place match

Sunday, February 6

SF 1 loser vs SF 2 loser

Final

Sunday, February 6

SF 1 winner vs SF 2 winner

The 2021 AFCON is being broadcast beIN SPORTS CONNECT, beIN SPORTS XTRA en Español, beIN SPORTS XTRA in the United States. Stream live in the US: fuboTV (7 Day Free Trial Streaming).

AFCON 2021 Playoffs: Bracket