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How do teams qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations?

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Quick Answer

The Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches determine the teams that qualify to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations and automatically includes the host country. The qualifying rounds are categorized by preliminary, first and second rounds.

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Full Answer

The Africa Cup of Nations, also known as AFCON, is an international football competition in Africa, first held in 1957. Since 1968, AFCON is held during odd-numbered years.

The teams qualify by competing in qualifying rounds. The preliminary round consists of the teams ranking 48 to 51. The winner is advanced to the first round.

The first round of qualifying consists of the teams that rank from 22 to 47 and the advancing team of the preliminary round. The winners of the first round advance to the second round. The winners of the second round of the qualifying games are placed into seven groups of four teams. The winners of each group secure qualification for the finals as well as the top ranking third place team. Each group round is played on a home and away basis in a round-robin. The teams are ranked based on points: three points per win, one point per draw and zero points per loss. The final qualifying teams compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.

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