Africa Cup of Nations: Hosts Ivory Coast to face Nigeria in group 0

Hosts Ivory Coast were joined in Group A by Nigeria in the draw for the Africa Cup of Nations in Abidjan on Thursday.

Fast-improving Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, who have qualified for a fourth straight edition, complete the mini-league.

Other heavyweight pairings included defending champions Senegal with five-time winners Cameroon, while Africa’s first World Cup semi-finalists Morocco face Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ivory Coast, seeking a third Cup of Nations title, will face Guinea-Bissau in the opening match on January 13 in Abidjan, the economic hub.

The Ivorian clash with three-time champions Nigeria will attract most attention among the six Group A fixtures.

Nigeria were last crowned Cup of Nations winners in 2013 in South Africa and the Ivory Coast succeeded them two years later in Equatorial Guinea.

Morocco were drawn in Group F with DR Congo, Zambia and Tanzania.

The Atlas Lions have won the premier African football competition only once, in 1976 in Ethiopia. Their best performance since then was finishing runners-up to 2004 hosts Tunisia.

Defending champions Senegal are in Group C with five-time winners Cameroon, Guinea and the Gambia.

South Africa will face Tunisia, Mali and Namibia in Group E while Ghana take on Egypt, Cape Verde and Mozambique in Group B.

Group D, comprising Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Angola, completes the line-up for a tournament that will reach a climax with the final on February 11.


Group A

Ivory Coast (hosts), Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau

Group B

Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mozambique

Group C

Senegal (holders), Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia

Group D

Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Angola

Group E

Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Namibia

Group F

Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Tanzania


— Group winners and runners-up and the four highest ranked third-placed teams qualify for knockout stage

— Tournament kicks off on January 13 and ends on February 11, with matches at six stadiums in five cities

Source: AFP