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Sports Features of Saturday, 14 January 2017


AFCON 2017 facts to know before kick off tomorrow

AFCON, The African Cup of Nations 2017 comes off on Saturday 14th of January at Gabon as host nation.

All the 32 matches will be played at 4 Stadia.

The big surprise will be the absence of the Nigeria National Team, (Super Green Eagles), who now holds 3 champion titles of the AFCON and the 2012 winner Zambia National Team.

The absence of these two teams will leave 8 teams appearing in the tournament as previous champions. Teams like Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Cost, Tunisia, and DR Congo will enter the competition as previous champions.

Meanwhile, Guinea-Bissau will enter into the competition as their first time appearance.

The 2017 AFCON will host 12 foreign coaches and 4 local coaches.

Coach Herve Renard, is leading the Morocco National Team into the competition. He led Zambia to win AFCON 2012 and the Ivory Coast National Team in 2015.

Though he has won the league with other teams, he aims at leading the Morocco Team to quarter finals. There is no doubt about that after his great experience in AFCON.

AFCON 2017, is going to miss some African best players.

Gervinho from Ivory Coast, Yannick Bolasie of DR Congo, Sofiane Boaufa and Belhanda both from Morocco.

The 16 Teams participating in the tournament are grouped into four from which two teams are expecting to emerge as group stage qualifiers and group runner ups will proceed to quarter finals.

Group A:

The group constitutes Gabon, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, and Guinea- Bissau.

Gabon will enter the competition with Pierre – Emaide Aubameyang, as their stand out player.

Group B:

The group contains Algeria, Senegal, Zimbabwe, and Tunisia.

Algeria is coming with young talented player Rahyed Mahrez, the current best African Player.

Group C:

The group composites

DR Congo, Ivory Cost, Togo, and Morocco

Ivory Cost stands as the defending champions in the tournament.

Group D:

The last group of the tournament is made of The Black Stars of Ghana, The Pharaohs Egypt, Mali, and The Cranes of Uganda.

Ghana played the final game with Ivory Cost in the last previous African Cup of Nation (AFCON).

The opening match will be played between Gabon the host nation and the first ever appearance of Guinea-Bissau at the Stade D’ Angodje on Saturday, the 14th of January, 2017 at exactly (16:00 GMT), 4:00 pm Ghana time.

The same stadium will be used for the second match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon on the same day Saturday.

The African Cup of Nations 2017 tournament continues on Sunday, the 15th of January, 2017 in Group B with Algeria against Zimbabwe, and Tunisia against Senegal.

Then on Monday, the 16th, the first match of the day will be played between Ivory Coast and Togo, the second match will be between Morocco and DR Congo.

Ghana will play Uganda on Tuesday, the 17 and Mali playing Egypt at the Stade De Port Gentil.