The 2023 AFCON Group Stage Draw Is Completed In Cote d'Ivoire..

The draw for the group stage of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) have been completed in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire on Thursday evening, as qualified teams now know their opponents.

Twenty-four teams will be taking part in the delayed competition billed for January 13 to February 11, 2024.

The 34th edition of the biennial African football tournament, will be hosted by Ivory Coast for the second time, having first hosted it in 1984.

Originally scheduled to be held in June and July 2023, the tournament was moved because of concerns about playing it in the rainy season in the West African country.

Despite now being played in 2024, it has retained the name 2023 AFCON as part of its official title for sponsorship purposes.

At a star-studded ceremony at the brand-new Parc des Expositions, Abidjan, on Thursday, 2013 AFCON winner and Super Eagles of Nigeria legend Mikel Obi was among the former African football legends drawing the teams, alongside his former Chelsea teammate and Ivorian striker Didier Drogba, as the two countries were drawn together.

Senegal and former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, and Morocco defender Achraf Hakimi were also part of the current African football stars drawing the balls.

Delegations and the coaches from each of the 24 participating nations, CAF legends, international media, CAF commercial partners, showbiz celebrities and African leaders were all in attendance for the much-anticipated final draw in what is shaping up to the best AFCON ever.

The hosts Ivory Coast (winners in 1992 and 2015) will open the tournament on 13 January against Guinea-Bissau, while Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea completes the Group A.

Three-time African champions Nigeria would be gunning for glory for a fourth crown under the tutelage of coach Jose Peseiro.

The Super Eagles were unceremoniously knocked out in the last edition in Cameroon at the Round of 16 by Tunisia, despite an impressive group stage campaign.

Defending champions Senegal were drawn in Group C, where they will also face Cameroon, and neighbours Gambia and Guinea.

Senegal defeated Egypt on penalties to win their first AFCON title at the newly built 60,000 seater Olembe Stadium in Yaoundรฉ.

"It's a really difficult group," Mane said at the end of the presentation

"Cameroon is going to be really tough but we will give our best to go through in the first round."

2022 World Cup semi-finalists in Qatar and 2025 hosts Morocco are the highest-placed team in FIFA's rankings, in 13th. The Atlas Lions will face DR Congo, Zambia and Tanzania.

In other draw highlights, neighbours South Africa and Nambia have been drawn alongside Tunisia and Mali in Group E, which looks the most competitive (Group of Death) of the tournament.

Other exciting pairings see seven-time winners Egypt and Ghana in Group B with Mozambique and Cape Verde.

2023 Africa Cup of Nations Draw In Full:

Group A: 

• Ivory Coast ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎ 

• Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ 

• Equatorial Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถ 

• Guinea-Bissau ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ผ 

Group B: 

• Egypt ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ 

• Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ 

• Cape Verde ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ป 

• Mozambique ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ 

Group C:

• Senegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ 

• Cameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ 

• Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ 

• Gambia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ 

Group D:

• Algeria ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ 

• Burkina Faso ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ 

• Mauritania ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท 

• Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด 

Group E:

• Tunisia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ

• Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ 

• South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

• Namibia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

Group F: 

• Morocco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ 

• DR Congo ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฉ

• Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ 

• Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ 

All group winners and runners-up and the four highest-ranked third-placed teams would advance for the knockout stage.

Two stadiums in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, one in Bouake plus three newly built venues in Korhogo, San Pedro and Yamoussoukro will be used in the tournament.

The Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan will host the final on 11 February.

What Group _______ is the most difficult? ๐Ÿค”

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