Live Streaming of AFCON 2022 with every match on Sky Sports in UK & Ireland with AFCON VPN
Every match of AFCON 2022 will be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK. You can find the matches on Sky Sports Football, Premier League and Main Event, depending on other scheduling. For free-to-air viewing BBC iPlayer will live stream 10 games, including two quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the 2022 AFCON final on 6th February. Need an AFCON VPN?
⚽ African Cup of Nations 2022 (AFCON 2022 Cameroon)
9 January – 6 February
Sky Sports Live Streaming
Let’s start with pointing out that it is an annoyance to fans of European clubs that The AFCON takes place in January and it requires players to miss club matches whereas the Euros, Copa America, and Gold Cup all take place in the summer, but let’s be fair and remember that it was moved to January having been held previously in March for a long time, and that would be even worse for European clubs. The biggest gripe anyone can really have is that it’s held every two years, rather than every four years like the Euros.
With that out of the way, I thought it was worth giving you a few reasons why the AFCON is worth your attention over the next month or so. There will be more comprehensive guides published elsewhere, but this is just to give big picture context to the competition.
Let’s be honest, everyone loves a tournament. Tournaments are fun. They provide drama, games coming thick and fast, and usually some spectacular football played. The AFCON will be no different this year. This tournament, taking place in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, will be a wonderful bright spot in a January that looks like it could be very cold and miserable for those of us in Ireland and Great Britain. These games will allow us to escape the malaise of the January slog, watch games being played in a country that most of us will never visit and see pictures of the sun. Won’t that be nice?
It’s rare that a tournament is flat out bad. When people describe a major tournament as bad, they’re either furious about how their own team did or it simply didn’t live up to their expectations. The 2014 World Cup was a prime example. The World Cup was back in Brazil, it should have been a spectacular celebration of the game, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t a bad World Cup in terms of the quality of football, but it didn’t live up to the hype. Same with the 2010 World Cup, Africa’s first. Decent football, plenty of drama and excitement, but for one reason or another people felt a little bit disappointed after it. There are even some weirdos who criticise the 1994 World Cup, an incredible event, because they felt the final was boring. Some heathens even see fit to downplay the magnificence of Italia 90. I will fight those people.
Tournaments are great. It’s that simple. That’s the first reason to watch.
Think back to Italia 90, and the explosion of African football onto the biggest stage as Cameroon defeated reigning World Champions Argentina in the opening game. Sure, there’d been African teams at World Cups before but they’d never achieved much. Cameroon beat the World Champions. The beat Maradona, they qualified from their group, knocked out Colombia and almost upset England in the Quarter-Finals. A star was born in that tournament, in Roger Milla. He may have been 38 at the time, but he was new to the vast majority of people who didn’t watch French football. While Eusebio remains the greatest African born player of all time, Milla was the first to really shine on the international stage for the country of his birth. Milla, by the way, remains the oldest outfield player to play in a World Cup having also featured for Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup.
At that same 1994 World Cup, some new African stars emerged as Nigeria’s Super Eagles emerged as a real threat on the international scene. The Super Eagles would go on to win the 1996 Olympics, becoming the first non-European winner since Uruguay in 1928. Jay Jay Okacha, Sunday Oliseh, Finidi George and Daniel Amokachi would all go on to have excellent careers, though it could be argued none of them fully lived up to the billing. At the same time as Nigeria were announcing themselves on the scene, George Weah was becoming the best player on the planet. For the first and only time, an African player who played for an African nation, was regarded as the best player in the World. Yes, Eusebio had been a superstar, but he was viewed as Portuguese. Weah was African, and the whole continent embraced him. And that’s something the continent has continued to do, embrace their stars regardless of their nationality. It’s something you don’t see in South America or Europe.
Right now, there is a real case to be made that Mo Salah is the best player in the world, but until he wins a major award that confirms it he can’t knock Weah off his pedestal. Still though, he’s a bonafide superstar, and one of a number of star names that will feature in this competition.
Riyad Mahrez will line out for Algeria, Zambo Anguissa will patrol the midfield for Cameroon, Naby Keita will carry the hopes and dreams of Guinea, Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly will be charged with leading the Senegalese charge, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will have to overcome Covid first but he’ll hope to put his Arsenal problems behind him and take Gabon through to the knockout stages, Thomas Partey will be the main man for Ghana, Youssef En-Nesyri will be the one to get the goals for Morocco, Nigeria’s squad is full of names you’ll know but Victor Osimhen is such a big loss to the tournament, Mali have a ton of midfield talent, led by Yves Bissouma, though not much in defense and attack, while the Ivory Coast may be the most star studded of them all. Wilf Zaha, Nicolas Pepe, Franck Kessie, Sebastien Haller and Jeremie Boga all in one team should be a delight to watch.
Stars in the Making
It’s not just established stars either. There are so many great young talents coming from Africa these days that it’s hard to keep up. These are the real treat of the competition. You know the players listed above, you’ve seen them regularly. And you’ll have heard of these, but how much have you seen of the Ghanaian trio of Mohammed Kudus, Abdul Fatawa Issahaku and Kamaldeen Sulemana. The latter two are arguably the best players in the world at their respective ages. All three have the potential to be world class.
What about Ilaix Moriba. You probably heard of his contract saga with Barcelona and his move to RB Leipzig but given his lack of playing time there, this might be your first real chance to see him when he turns out for Guinea.
If you’re a Tottenham fan, then Senegal’s Pape Matar Sarr is definitely one for you to watch, he’s going to be a huge part of your future.
And how about the pair of central defenders for Bayer Leverkusen who could form one of the best partnerships in the world if they stay together long enough, Edmond Tapsoba of Burkina Faso and Odilon Kossounou of Ivory Coast. Incredible talents.
There are many more, but I’ll leave those for you to discover as you watch this tournament and fall in love with African football.
How to watch AFCON 2022 from anywhere on any device
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