Tunisia ready to welcome the 16 best African men’s nations

13 Jan. 2020

Tunisia ready to welcome the 16 best African men’s nations

The cities of Rades, Hammamet and Nabeul in the North African nation of Tunisia will host the 2020 CAHB Men’s African Championship, also known as the ‘African Cup of Nations’ (CAN), underway on Thursday, 16 January until Sunday, 26 January.

A total of 16 nations will play 52 games, initially in a preliminary round featuring four groups of four teams each. The top two teams in each group will then go through to the Main Round stage which will feature two groups of four teams each. The top two teams in each of the main round groups will then face off in the semi-finals and then final.

The teams which do not make the main round will play off for 9-16 place in the President’s Cup, while the four teams who do not reach the semi-finals will play off for 5-8 place.

The overall winners of the championship will book their place directly to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, while the second and third-placed teams qualifying through to the 2020 Olympic Qualification Tournaments to be held in April. Additionally, the top four teams will earn a spot at the 2021 Men's IHF World Championship in Egypt.

After the draw on 19 October in Tunis, the 16 teams in Tunisia will compe in the following groups:

Preliminary Group A: Egypt (EGY), DR Congo (COD), Guinea (GUI), Kenya (KEN)
Preliminary Group B: Angola (ANG), Gabon (GAB), Nigeria (NGR), Libya (LBA)
Preliminary Group C: Tunisia (TUN), Cameroon (CMR), Cote d’Ivoire (CIV), Cape Verde (CPV)
Preliminary Group D: Morocco (MAR), Algeria (ALG), Congo (CGO), Zambia (ZAM)

Tunisia are the current title-holders, having won the 2018 edition in Gabon, defeating Egypt 26:24 in the final. They are also the record title-holders, having won the competition 10 times.

Zambia will make their debut in the competition, while Kenya are appearing for just the third time.

Speaking ahead of the championship, African Handball Confederation (CAHB) President Dr Mansourou Aremou is excited the championship is returning to its roots.

“Undoubtedly Tunisia loves the African Cup of Nations, and to put it better, it is the most successful country,” he said. “One of the most beautiful pages in Tunisian handball history took place in 1974 when it hosted the very first edition of this event and, brilliantly, won the trophy. Since then, they have organised the competition a number of times and created an incredible enthusiasm for handball in the country.

“Now, it is about to relive another great moment, becoming the host country of the 2020 edition and who knows, perhaps to confirm its place as the most successful country? And that is not all: history will be made as the President's Cup makes its debut this year.

“I am delighted to see the satisfactory work that the organising committee and Tunisian authorities have done, and that Tunisia will want to prove, once again, it’s capacity to welcome our sport in excellent conditions.

“All the athletes from the nations are waiting to reveal themselves to the world and savour every moment and, together, we will all do everything we can to show how popular and attractive handball is. Through raising the level of our performances, welcome and organisation we will try to further reduce the gap with the great handball nations of the world.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the participants as well as all of the stakeholders, welcome everyone and I wish everyone an exciting competition with great pleasure.

“Long live African handball.”

For further information on the 2020 CAHB Men’s African Championship please visit the official website. You can also follow the competition through the Tunisian Handball Federation social media channels: