Africa Cup of Nations 2012: Fixtures, TV Schedule, Live Streaming & How to Watch

Adam HirshfieldFeatured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 29:  Ghana fans celebrate after the international friendly match between England and Ghana at Wembley Stadium on March 29, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Lost amid the Arsenal-Manchester United weekend chatter—and soon to be disrupted by the midweek El Clasico Copa del Rey matchup between Barcelona and Real Madrid—is the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations tournament, which kicked off this weekend in Bata, Equitorial Guinea.

While it may not pack the punch or star power of this summer's European Cup in Poland and the Ukraine, Africa's continental championship features several talented squads and a plethora of big-name players.

From Didier Drogba, Kolo and Yaya Toure and Gervinho of the Ivory Coast to Ghana's Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari, there will be plenty of talent on hand.

And with upstart hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea already having earned victories to start off their campaigns, the home fans are sure to get more and more involved as the three-week event goes on.

NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 25:  Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast reacts during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between North Korea and Ivory Coast at the Mbombela Stadium on June 25, 2010 in Nelspruit, South Africa.  (Photo by Clive
Clive Mason/Getty Images

If you're interested in following the matches live in the United States, you can do so on any number of sketchy underground, live-streaming websites.

But the safest, most reliable option for American viewers appears to be watching the matches live on Al Jazeera Sports USA, if, of course, you're lucky enough to get it on your cable system.

However you choose to follow the tournament, here's the full schedule for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

Day, Time ET Matchup Stage
 Jan. 21, 1:30 p.m.  Equatorial Guinea v Libya  Group A
 Jan. 21, 4 p.m  Senegal v Zambia  Group A
 Jan. 22, 11 a.m.  Ivory Coast v  Sudan   Group B 
 Jan. 22, 2 p.m.  Burkina Faso v Angola  Group B
 Jan. 23, 11 a.m.  Gabon v Niger  Group C
 Jan. 23, 2 p.m.  Morocco v Tunisia  Group C
 Jan. 24, 11 a.m.  Ghana v Botswana  Group D
 Jan. 24, 2 p.m.  Mali v Guinea  Group D
 Jan. 25, 11 a.m.  Libya v Zambia  Group A
 Jan. 25, 2. p.m.  Equatorial Guinea v Senegal  Group A
 Jan. 26, 11 a.m.  Sudan v Angola  Group B
 Jan. 26, 2 p.m.   Ivory Coast  v Burkina Faso  Group B
 Jan. 27, 11 a.m.   Niger v Tunisia  Group C
 Jan. 27, 2 p.m.  Gabon v Morocco  Group C
 Jan. 28, 11 a.m.   Botswana v Guinea  Group D
 Jan. 28, 2 p.m.  Ghana v Mali  Group D
 Jan. 29, 1 p.m.  Equatorial Guinea v Zambia  Group A
 Jan. 29, 1 p.m.  Libya v Senegal   Group A
 Jan. 30, 1 p.m.  Ivory Coast v Angola  Group B
 Jan. 30, 1 p.m.  Sudan v Burkina Faso  Group B
 Jan. 31, 1 p.m.  Gabon v Tunisia  Group C
 Jan. 31, 1 p.m.  Niger v Morocco  Group C
 Feb. 1, 1 p.m.  Botswana v Mali  Group D
 Feb. 1, 1 p.m.  Ghana v Guinea   Group D
 Feb. 4, 11 a.m.  A Winner v 2B  Quarters
 Feb. 4, 2 p.m.  B Winner v 2A  Quarters
 Feb. 5, 11 a.m.  C Winner v 2D   Quarters
 Feb. 5, 2 p.m.  D Winner v 2C  Quarters
 Feb. 8, 11 a.m.  TBD v TBD  Semis
 Feb. 8, 2 p.m.  TBD v TBD  Semis
 Feb. 11, 2 p.m.  TBD v TBD  3rd-place
 Feb. 12, 2 p.m  SF 1 Win v SF 2 Win  Final