The draw for the group stages of AFCON 2023 took place at the brand-new Parc Des Expositions venue in Abidjan with hosts Ivory Coast along with 24 nations including Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Cameroon, Algeria, South Africa and current cup holders, Senegal all discovering their fate ahead of next year’s tournament.
Country host Cote D’Ivoire will be looking to start the tournament on a good note when they face Guinea Bissau in the opening game in Group A. Also in the same group, three times African champions Nigeria will battle it out with Equatorial Guinea as they seek to hit the ground running in Abidjan.
After an abysmal performance in the Previous edition in Cameroon, the Black Stars of Ghana have been drawn alongside Egypt, Cape Verde and Mozambique in Group B. The four-time African champions will face a tough competition from Record AFCON winners, Egypt and the Blue Sharks of Cape Verde, who are making their fourth appearance in the competition along with underdogs Mozambique for a spot in the knockout phase.
Guinea and Gambia will meet current African Champions, Senegal as they prepare to run the affairs of the group alongside 2021 AFCON host Cameroon in Group C.
North African Giants, Algeria who were previously champions of the 2019 edition of the tournament will face Burkina Faso together with Mauritania who secured qualification after defeating Gabon in the last group game of the qualifiers and Angola in Group D.
Tunisia, Mali, South Africa and Namibia will give fans interesting show of class as they battle it out in Group E to see who makes it into the knockout stages.
Having qualified to the AFCON for the third time, Tanzania will face off with familiar opponents Zambia in Group F together with Morocco who reached the semifinals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and 1974 African Champions Dr Congo.
The 34th edition of AFCON takes place from 13 January until 11 February, 2024 in Ivory Coast. All group winners and runners-up and the four highest-ranked third-placed teams qualify for the knockout stage.
Story by: David Kwaku Dzaku | univers.ug.edu.gh