The 2017 African Nations Cup finals draw was concluded on Wednesday evening and it is interesting to see some intriguing ties, familiar faces ended up in the same group and a “group of death” which leaves the group very open.
There were four pots for the draw, and each team was seeded in one of the pots. Ghana were seeded in Pot 1 with host nation Gabon, current Africa Cup of Nations holders Cote d’Ivoire and Algeria.
Pot 2 had Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso and DR Congo. Pot 3 had Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco and Egypt, while Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Guinea Bissau completed the last Pot 4.
Ghana were drawn into Group D, a group labelled as the ” group of Death”, which comprises of Egypt, Mali and the Cranes of Uganda. Maybe fate can not be ruled out here, as Ghana face two of those teams (Egypt and Uganda) in their battle to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Egypt are returning to the tournament for the first time since they won in 2010.
Former Ivory Coast coach Herve Renard who led the current champions, the Ivorians to the Afcon glory almost two years, having done likewise with Zambia three years earlier, will this time be leading Morocco to come up against Ivory Coast in Group C.
As if that was not enough, the 48-year-old Renard will again go toe-to-toe with his former mentor Claude Le Roy, who is currently head coach of Togo. Le Roy himself also face an uphill battle as the draw did him no favour when he couldn’t avoid his former team Dr Congo who are also in Group C.
Ghana may frown, but they are not the only team drawn in a group labelled ‘Group of Death’. Group B is interesting and also looks to carry the same tag with two north African giants Algeria and Tunisia drawn alongside Senegal and Zimbabwe.
Group A will definitely not be left out as the group also has interesting pairings that I label, ‘the Fight for Region Supremacy’, with Gabon and Cameroon from Central Africa and Burkina Faso and Guinea-Bissau from Western Africa.
The Nations Cup finals will be played from Jan. 14 to Feb. 5 in Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil.
Find the full draw for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon below.
Group A: Gabon (seeded), Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau
Group B: Algeria (seeded), Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Group C: Ivory Coast (seeded), Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Togo
Group D: Ghana (seeded), Mali, Egypt, Uganda
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