By Victor Kanayo
With six weeks to the kick-off of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the 24 senior national teams that qualified for the continental showpiece are currently making plans on when, where and how best they will approach the tournament.
The qualified countries are Cote d’ivoire, Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Tunisia, Egypt, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Mali, Guinea, Ghana, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique, Congo DR, Mauritania, Gambi, Cameroon and Namibia.
Last Push Ahead Of Continental Soccer Festival
As at the time of compiling this piece, Heritage Times HT reached out to some countries’ Federations to know their level of preparations, but most of them prefared to keep it rapped till days ahead.
Already, the competition organisers have put finishing touches with their most recent Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) executive meeting.
The upcoming CAF annual awards slated for Rabat, Morocco, which will most likely be the last large gathering at the continental level before AFCON slated for Cote d’ivoire, will also present ample opportunity for more preview and final updates.
Nigeria Amidst Recent Poor Show
In Nigeria, the country’s football body has revealed that Super Eagles will first set up their camping in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as they commence preparation.
Nigeria qualified for the biennial tournament after winning their group over second-placed Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe and Sierra Leone.
They have been placed in group A alongside host country, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, with recent poor performance leaving many with doubts of what to expect.
The tournament is billed to hold in Cote d’Ivoire next year, with the kick-off scheduled for January 13, 2024, at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Ebimpe, Abidjan.
The final will happen on February 11.
The competition had originally been scheduled to begin in June 2023. But it was rearranged due to fears that the weather during the rainy season in host nation Ivory Coast may cause disruptions.