AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS

'Super Eagles' set to face Egypt in Africa Cup of Nations

Defending champions Algeria were drawn with the Ivory Coast in a tough group for next January’s Africa Cup of Nations finals with Nigeria set to face Egypt in Group D.

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'Super Eagles' set to face Egypt in Africa Cup of Nations
DANIEL BELOUMOU OLOMO AFP

Defending champions Algeria were drawn with the Ivory Coast in a tough group for next January’s Africa Cup of Nations finals while hosts Cameroon will kick off the tournament against Burkina Faso.

Algeria, who won the 2019 edition in Egypt, will not have to play the Ivorians until their last Group E game, by which time both countries could have advanced from the first round at the expense of underdogs Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Cameroon, hosting the tournament 50 years after their only previous time, have a tricky game against Burkina Faso in Yaounde in Group A on Jan. 9 and will also face Ethiopia and the Cape Verde Islands, who have been their bogey side in recent qualifying competitions.

Egypt and Nigeria were paired together in Group D while Ghana and Morocco will compete in Group C.

With the top two teams in each group plus the four best third-placed finishers advancing to the knockout stage, it is not expected there will be any early casualties among the fancied sides.

“It does look a balanced draw,” said Cameroon great Samuel Eto’o.

Sin tituloFormer Cameroonian footballer Samuel Eto'o presenting a "Morocco" tag during the draw ceremony for the 2022 African Cup of Nations (CAN) in Yaounde, Cameroon, on August 17, 2021. (Photo by Daniel Beloumou Olomo / AFP)

The Comoros Islands, who are in Group C, and Gambia, in Group F, will participate in the finals for the first time.

Two stadiums in Yaounde plus newly built or refurbished venues in Bafoussam, Douala, Garoua and Limbe will be used in the tournament, which was postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It concludes on Feb. 6 next year.

Cameroon were supposed to host the 2019 finals but were stripped of the right by the Confederation of African Football when inspectors found they were not ready. Egypt stepped in as hosts at the last minute.

CAN 2022 Draw:

Group A: Cameroon (hosts), Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Islands, Ethiopia

Group B: Guinea, Malawi, Senegal, Zimbabwe

Group C: Comoros Islands, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco

Group D: Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Sudan

Group E: Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone

Group F: Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Tunisia