Teams await their fate at draw for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations
Two dozen teams will discover their fate on Tuesday night at the Yaounde Conference Centre in the draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.
Originally scheduled for June and July 2021, the Confederation of African Football (Caf), which organises the event, said in January 2020 that it would be played in January and February of 2021.
But in June 2020 Caf moved the competition to January 2022 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Hosts Cameroon and defending champions Algeria will be in pot one with the 2019 finalists Senegal as well as Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco.
Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso will comprise pot two while Mauritania feature in pot three with Cape Verde, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone.
Pot four includes debutants Gambia and Comoros as well as Equatorial Guinea, Malawi and two of the competition’s four founding nations Sudan and Ethiopia.
“I wish Ghana the best of luck in the draw,” record goal scorer Asamoah Gyan told Cafonline. “Ghana is a country of football, with many talents. The team is being rebuilt a new coach,” added the 35-year-old who could feature in his eighth consecutive Cup of Nations.
The opening ceremony and first game will take place at the new 60,000 seat Paul Biya Stadium in Olembe 13km north of the commercial capital Yaounde. Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, also in Yaounde, will host group stage games.
Stadiums in Garoua, Bafoussam, Limbe and Douala will be also be used during the month-long tournament which kicks off on 9 January and ends on 6 February.
As in the 2019 tournament in Egypt, the top two from the six groups will advance directly to the last-16 with the four best third-placed teams.
From there, the competition becomes a knockout tournament with penalties to decide the winner of a tie if the score is level after 30 minutes of extra-time.