The final round draw of the the delayed African Cup of Nations 2021, or normally named AFCON, had just been done this week. All the favorites such as the reigning Champions Algeria, the runner up in the last edition, Senegal, Nigeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, and the host Cameroon have been seeded in a relatively safe and straight forward group. There are two debutantes in this year's tournament, Gambia and Comoros. Here is the list of six groups in Africa Cup of Nations which begins next January.
Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde.
Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi.
Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon.
Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau.
Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia
The top two teams from each group plus four best teams on the third place shall advance to the round 16 and onwards.
Africa Cup of Nations is the main biennieal regional championship which was first contested in 1957. In its earliest edition, there were only four contestants, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and South Africa. In 1998, there was an expansion towards the participants from 12 to 16 teams. Furthermore, more teams were added to 24 in 2017.
In this year's edition, the tournament will be staged from 9th of January, to 6th of February 2022 with six venues have been already prepared. There are Ahmadou Ahidjo and Paul Biya Stadiums in Yaounde, Limbe Stadium in Limbe, Douala’s Japoma Stadium and Kouekong Stadium in Bafoussam plus Roumde Adjia Stadium in Garoua. Cameroon has been selected for the AFCON host for the second time since 1972. They are eyeing for their sixth title to close the gap with Egypt's silverwares. The Pharaoh remains the most successful team in the competition with seven titles. Mo Salah is also targeting a glorious campaign here as a redemption for their failure two years ago when they were the host. One thing for sure is the Liverpool man will be fighting for the trophy against his teammate Sadio Mane, Bayern forward Eric Choupo Moting, Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho to challenge Riyad Mahrez and Co who surely aim for retaining the title next January.