The much-anticipated draw for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) was held recently, revealing the group stage matchups for the continent’s premier football tournament. South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, who are making a comeback to the AFCON stage after missing the previous edition, have been drawn in Group E alongside Tunisia, Namibia, and Mali. Notably, they will be avoiding the defending champions in the group stages.
On the other hand, Nigeria’s Super Eagles, who have been consistent participants in recent editions of the tournament, find themselves in Group A. They are set to face the hosts, Ivory Coast, along with Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau. This group promises some thrilling encounters, especially with the Super Eagles taking on the host nation.
Other notable groupings from the draw include Egypt and Ghana, who are set to clash in Group B. Meanwhile, defending champions Senegal will face a challenge from Cameroon as they are both drawn in Group C.
The tournament is set to commence with host nation Ivory Coast taking on Guinea-Bissau in a Group A fixture. The anticipation for this edition of AFCON is palpable, especially with the tournament returning to Ivory Coast. Football legend and Chelsea icon, Didier Drogba, expressed his excitement and hopes for the host nation. He stated, “Ivory Coast is very happy and proud to host the AFCON. We aim to make it the best tournament. This group of players will give their all, and we are optimistic about our chances. We have a formidable team, and we aspire for the trophy to remain in Ivory Coast.”
Nigeria, under the guidance of coach Jose Peseiro, will be aiming for their fourth AFCON title. Given their recent performances and the talent at their disposal, they are among the favorites. However, with teams like Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Egypt also in the mix, the competition promises to be fierce.
As preparations intensify and teams gear up for the tournament, fans across the continent and beyond await what promises to be a memorable edition of the Africa Cup of Nations.