2017 Africa Cup Of Nations Draw Determines Four Competitive Groups
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations draw was held in Gabon’s capital city Libreville on Wednesday evening, as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) determined the four groups of 16 teams that will be aiming for glory come the AFCON in January 2017.
The four host cities that will stage matches include Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil, as Gabon hosts the continental showpiece on their own, six years after co-hosting the competition alongside Equatorial Guinea.
Host nation Gabon, defending title-holders Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria were selected by the governing body as the seeded teams based on the performance of the qualified teams during the 2014 World Cup, the last three AFCON competitions, and the qualifying campaigns for those tournaments.
In Group A hosts Gabon found themselves partnered with Burkina Faso, tournament new-boys Guinea Bissau, and the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon, with the Group A games set to be hosted in Libreville.
North African rivals Tunisia and Algeria will light up Group B in Franceville, but the Teranga Lions of Senegal will ensure that the group is very tough for all participants, including Zimbabwe, who will come up against some of the continent’s best in the group.
The Warriors are participating in their first AFCON since 2006, and will be the only side representing southern Africa early next year.
The city of Oyem will be home to participants in Group C, which will include AFCON title-holders Cote D’Ivoire, alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and the Atlas Lions of Morocco.
This means that defending champions Cote D’Ivoire will come face to face with former coach Herve Renard, who is now in charge of the Moroccans.
Group D matches will be played in Port Gentil, with the Black Stars of Ghana set to face off against Egypt,Uganda and Mali in a tight group that resembles Ghana’s World Cup qualifying group – as the Cranes and the Pharaohs were also drawn in the same selection as Ghana in qualifying for Russia 2018.
The East Africans of Uganda are the only side from the region, and they are back in the competition next year for the first time since 1978.
The highly anticipated tournament will kick off on January 14 at the Stade de l’Amitie before coming to an end with the final on February 5.
The Full 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Draw
GROUP A: Gabon – Burkina Faso – Cameroon – Guinea Bissau
GROUP B: Algeria – Tunisia – Senegal – Zimbabwe
GROUP C: Cote D’Ivoire – DR Congo – Morocco – Togo
GROUP D: Ghana – Mali – Egypt – Uganda
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