The Africa Cup of Nations has been increased from 16 participating teams to 24 starting from the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon.
The decision was approved at an Executive Committee meeting of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Thursday in the Moroccan capital Rabat.
Africa’s flagship sporting event has featured 16 teams since 1996.
A decision on whether the finals will be moved from January and February to June and July is still awaited.
The expansion of the tournament could create problems for Cameroon, which will host the next finals, with the Central African nation’s sports minister having to deny reports that preparations were behind schedule this week.
The move follows a two-day symposium organised by Caf president Ahmad to discuss the state of African football.
Further changes are expected but have yet to be announced.