What you need to know about AFCON 2023

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The 34th edition of African Cup of Nations [AFCON] is set to kick-off one week from now in Ivory Coast.

This is the second time the country is hosting the tournament. The Elephants will hunt the trophy for the third time when they officially open the match day one against Guinea-Bissau in Abidjan on 13th January.

Five cities have been chosen with six stadiums used for the tournament whereby, Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan with the capacity of hosting 60,000 fans will be the main stadium as it will be used for the opening and the final game.

Other fields are, Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium from Abidjan as well with the capacity of 33,000 will be used,Charles Konan Banny Stadium, Yamoussoukro (20,000), Stade de la Paix, Bouake (40,000), Amadou Gon Coulibaly Stadium, Korhogo (20,000) and Laurent Pokou Stadium, San Pedro ( 20,000) will host games too.

The host lead the group A alongside Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau as the 24 teams participating in the tournament were splitted in six groups.

Other groups are:-

Group B: Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, Mozambique.

Group C: Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, The Gambia.

Group D: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Angola.

Group E: Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, Namibia.

Group F: Morocco, DR Congo, Zambia, Tanzania.

Here’s a breakdown of the fixtures for the competing AFCON groups.

Group A

On January 13th, Ivory Coast faces Nigeria; on the 18th Ivory Coast faces Equatorial Guinea; and on the 22th, Ivory Coast faces Guinea-Bissau. On January 14, Nigeria plays Equatorial Guinea. Then, Equatorial Guinea vs Guinea Bissau on January 18. On January 22, Guinea Bissau will play against Nigeria.

Group B

Egypt plays Mozambique and Ghana plays Cape Verde on January 14. Egypt faces Ghana on 18th and Cape Verde faces Morocco on 19th in the second group game. On 22nd, Cape Verde plays Egypt and Mozambique plays Ghana.

Group C

For this group, on January 15, Senegal will play Gamba. On January 19, Senegal vs Cameroon takes place, and Senegal vs Guinea happens on January 23, 2024. Also, Cameroon will play Guinea on January 15. On January 19, Guinea vs Gambia took place and Gambia vs Cameroon on January 23.

Group D

Algeria will face Angola on January 15, 2024, and Burkina Faso will play Mauritania on the 16th. On January 20, Algeria plays Burkina Faso, then Mauritania vs Angola. On January 23, 2024, Angola and Mauritania will play Burkina Faso and Algeria, respectively.

Group E

Tunisia plays Namibia on January 16, Mali on January 20, and South Africa on January 24. On January 16, Mali will play South Africa. South Africa and Mali play Namibia on January 21 and 24, respectively.

Group F

For Group F, Morocco vs Tanzania takes place on the 17, alongside DR Congo vs Zambia. On January 21, Morocco will play against DR Congo, then Zambia against Tanzania. On the 24th, Zambia vs Morocco and Tanzania vs DR Congo occur.

Only two top teams in each group and the four best-ranked third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16 which is scheduled to take place on January 27.

Quarter finals will kick off on February 2 while the Semi-Finals will be played on Feb 7 and the curtains will be closed on Sunday of February 11 during finals.

Senegal is the defending champions after smashing the glory against Egypt in 2021 in penalties when the tournament was played in Cameroon.

Here are the previous winners since 2010.

2010 Egypt, 2012 Zambia ,2013 Nigeria, 2015 Ivory Coast 2017 Cameroon 2019 Algeria 2021 Senegal.

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