THE wait is finally over and the Africa Cup of Nations is underway in Cameroon.
It was a victorious start for the hosts as they kicked off their challenge with a win over Burkina Faso, going top of Group A as a result.
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The tournament follows a familiar format with the 24 nations split in six groups of four – but will teams that finish third make it through to the knockouts?
Does finishing in third place qualify for AFCON last-16?
Similar to how Euro 2021 played out last year, the top two teams from each group will automatically reach the knockout stages.
But the four highest ranked third-place teams will also join them in the last-16 stage.
The bad news for those nations is they will face a side who has finished top of their respective group.
Once the competition reaches the last-16 stage, it’s a simple knockout tournament until we get our finalists on February 6.
There is extra-time and penalties in each tie should they end in a draw, with a third-placed playoff for the two losing semi-finalists.
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How can I watch AFCON 2022?
You can catch all of the group stages live on Sky Sports here in the UK.
Every match will be broadcast on the service, with non-subscribes able to tune in by grabbing a NOW TV pass.
And as a treat for viewers, the latter stages of the tournament will be shown live by the BBC.
As a result, two of the quarter-finals, both semi-finals and the final itself will be free-to-air.