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Africa Cup of Nations 2023: Everything you need to know

A guide to the continent's biggest football tournament

by Motoni Olodun
AFCON 2023

The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) is the continent’s biggest football tournament, featuring some of the world’s best players and teams. The 34th edition of Afcon will take place in Ivory Coast from 13 January to 11 February 2024, after being postponed due to the rainy season. Here is everything you need to know about the schedule, dates, draw, and stars of Afcon 2023.

How many teams will participate in Afcon 2023?

Afcon 2023 will feature 24 teams for the third time in its history after expanding the competition in 2019. The teams are divided into six groups of four, with the top two teams and the four best third-placed teams advancing to the knockout stage. The knockout stage consists of round 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, third-place match, and final.

Which teams have qualified for Afcon 2023?

The 24 teams that have qualified for Afcon 2023 are:

– Ivory Coast (hosts)

– Algeria (defending champions)

– Angola

– Burkina Faso

– Cameroon

– Cape Verde

– DR Congo

– Egypt

– Equatorial Guinea

– Ethiopia

– Gabon

– Gambia

– Ghana

– Guinea

– Guinea-Bissau

– Malawi

– Mali

– Mauritania

– Morocco

– Mozambique

– Nigeria

– Senegal

– Tunisia

– Zimbabwe

When and where will the draw for Afcon 2023 take place?

The draw for Afcon 2023 will take place on 25 November 2022 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, the capital city of Ivory Coast. The stadium, which opened in October 2020, will also host the tournament’s opening match and final.

Which stars will feature in Afcon 2023?

Afcon 2023 will showcase some of the world’s most talented and famous footballers who play for top European clubs and elsewhere. Some of the stars to watch out for include:

– Mohamed Salah (Egypt and Liverpool): The reigning African Footballer of the Year and one of the best forwards in the world, Salah will lead Egypt’s quest for a record-extending eighth Afcon title.

– Sadio Mane (Senegal and Al-Nassr): The former Liverpool star and African Footballer of the Year in 2019, Mane will hope to inspire Senegal to their first-ever Afcon trophy after finishing as runners-up in 2019.

– Riyad Mahrez (Algeria and Manchester City): The captain and playmaker of Algeria, Mahrez, will aim to defend their Afcon crown and add to his impressive collection of trophies with Manchester City.

– Wilfried Zaha (Ivory Coast and Galatasaray): The tricky winger and former Crystal Palace star, Zaha, will be eager to shine on home soil and help Ivory Coast win their third Afcon title.

– Victor Osimhen (Nigeria and Napoli): The young striker and Napoli’s record signing, Osimhen, will lead Nigeria’s attack as they seek their fourth Afcon title and their first since 2013.

What are the expectations for Afcon 2023?

Afcon 2023 promises to be a thrilling and competitive tournament, with many teams capable of challenging for the title. The hosts, Ivory Coast, will have the advantage of playing in front of their passionate fans, while Algeria will try to repeat their feat of winning back-to-back titles in 1990 and 2019. Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, and Morocco are among the favorites, while other teams like Ghana, Cameroon, Tunisia, and Mali could spring a surprise. Afcon 2023 will also be a celebration of African football and culture and a showcase of unity and diversity.

Source: Modern Ghana

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