CAF unveils new ball for AFCON 2019

Ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has unveiled a ne ball for the elite continental competition.

The Umbro ball will be used in CAF competitions following a deal struck between the authority and the sports equipment supplier.

The FIFA certified Neo Pro ball which features a textured Teijin Microfibre outer casing will be used at the tournament, which begins on 21 June and ends on July 19.

The 2019 AFCON will be the first edition in which 24 teams will participate, an expansion from previous editions which had only 16.

“We couldn’t be prouder and more honoured to have been selected by CAF as the official supplier of the match ball for the Total Africa Cup of Nations 2019. Football is the biggest sport in Africa and as an authentic sports brand deeply rooted in football, we believe this partnership is a perfect match,” said Tom Grzelak, Head of Brand at Umbro Middle East and Egypt.

Teams are expected to start arriving in Egypt for the continental showdown, which has pooled the 24 teams into six groups of four each.

Various teams will play final pre-AFCON friendly games this weekend before they shift focus to the Egypt games.

Egypt has prepared six stadiums for the event, spread across four cities; Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Ismailia.

Other than being the first AFCON tournament to include 24 teams, the 2019 edition will also be the first played in the middle of the year, between June and July. Previous editions were played in the window between January and July.