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Final draw of AFCON 2017 ends in Gabon - All you need to know

Final draw of AFCON 2017 ends in Gabon - All you need to know

Gabon

Africa’s flagship football tournament the African Cup of Nations takes place in Gabon next January. A key process in the lead up to the tournament is the group draw which takes place today in Gabon.

The specific location is at the Stade de l’Amitie in the capital, Libreville, where teams will know who they will face when the tournament finally kicks off.

As part of our build up to the final draw which takes place at 17:30 GMT, we give a background to today’s event. We look at the pots that will be available. We take a tour of the various venues that Gabon has put together. We also take you down memory lane to look at past winners of the tournament.

GROUP A – Libreville

  • Gabon
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Guinea Bissau

GROUP B – Franceville

  • Algeria
  • Tunisia
  • Senegal
  • Zimbabwe

GROUP C – Oyem

  • Ivory Coast
  • DR Congo
  • Morocco
  • Togo

GROUP D: Port Gentil

  • Ghana
  • Mali
  • Egypt
  • Uganda

African legends who helped with the draw

The first round of the draw was by Senegalese footballer Khalilou Fadiga, helped at some point by the Prime Minister of Gabon.

Francois Amegasse, a Gabonese footballer who appeared with the national football team at the 1994, 1996 and 2000 African Cup of Nations helped with stage two of the draw.

Karim Abdul Razak Tanko, a Ghanaian football coach and former midfielder is the last person to help with the final draw. He played for several clubs in the 1970s and 1980s, notably the local club Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

Popularly called the “Golden Boy”, Razak also played for the Ghana national team, helping it win the 1978 African Cup of Nations. He was named African Footballer of the Year later that year.

Event Kicks off – Follow Updates below

17:30 GMT: Event starts with anthem of Gabon anthem being sung. President Ali Bongo Ondimba in attendance with Prime Minister

Top brass of CAF led by President Issa Hayatou, representatives of football associations and also the media fully represented.

17:34 GMT: Hosts on stage giving a background of the country, by way of the location and the natural resources it has. She describes it as ‘the last paradise on earth.’

17:40 GMT: Mayor of Libreville delivers opening address, welcoming all participants to the city and thanking the CAF for giving Gabon the honor of hosting the continents’s biggest football showpiece. A jazz musical performance accompanied by a soccer follows.

17:50 GMT: CAF president Issa Hayatou – ‘I don’t have a favorite team’

After delivering his speech Hayatou obliged the hosts a question and answer session where he said as the continent’s football chief, he does not have a favorite.’ He celebrates how governments and federations have helped to drive African football to the height it has attained.

In his speech, Hayatou spoke about the CAF – Total deal and also how far the game on the continent is evolving.

18:00 GMT: AFCON trophy symbolically handed over
The AFCON trophy was handed over by the CAF President to the Gabonese Prime Minister. The Prime Minister gave concrete assurances that Gabon was ready to host the tournament.

He said it was a source of pride and happiness that the country is welcoming all of the continent’s top footballing sides to come and play. Gabon is ready to host Africa he emphasized.

SUGGESTED READING Did CAF attempt to give hosting rights to Morocco after Gabon’s poll chaos?

Top scorers in AFCON history

1. Samuel Eto’o – Cameroon – 18 goals
2. Laurent Pokou – Ivory Coast – 14 goals
3. Rashi Yekini – 13 goals
4. Hasan El-Shazly – 12 goals
5. Patrick Mboma – Cameroon – 11 goals
6. Hossam Hassan – Egypt – 11 goals
7. Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast – 11 goals
8. Ndaye Mulamba – DRC – 10 goals
9. Joel Tiehi – Ivory Coast – 10 goals
10. Mengistu Worku – Ethiopia – 10 goals
11. Francileudo Santos – Tunisia – 10 goals
12. Kalusha Bwalya – Zambia – 10 goals

Quick facts worth noting about the current AFCON

1. It is the first tournament that French oil giants TOTAL is officially being associated with. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Total, signed an eight-year sponsorship deal that was announced in July this year.

As the title sponsor of 10 CAF competitions, Total will be seen at more than 1,500 matches during:

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON). 
The African Nations Championship (CHAN). 
CAF inter-club competition (CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and CAF Super Cup).
Youth competitions (U-23, U-20 and U-17 Africa Cup of Nations).
The Women Africa Cup of Nations.
Futsal Africa Cup of Nations.

Read more Total and CAF’s 8-year sponsorship deal officially signed

2. All except two of the qualifying teams have participated in the tournament in at least one of the last three editions. (between 2010 and 2015)

3. The two ‘odd sides are Uganda and Guinea Bissau. Uganda last qualified for the AFCON in 1978, there was a huge national celebration when they finally qualified to join the party next year. Guniea Bissau on the other hand are playing their very first AFCON.

4. The record winners of the competition are the Pharaohs of Egypt. They have won it seven times. 1957, 1959, 1986, 2006, 2008, 2010.

5. Ghana and Cameroon have both won it four times. Ghana who were losing finalists in 2015 against Ivory Coast won it in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982. Cameroon won the trophy in 1984, 1988 before winning it in 2000 and defending it successfully in 2002.

The four groups for the draw are as follows:

Pot 1: Gabon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Algeria
Pot 2: Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso, DR Congo
Pot 3: Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt
Pot 4: Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau

The seedings were approved by the AFCON Organizing Committee at its meeting on Monday, 26 September 2016 at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.

The seeding took into account the performance of the qualified teams during the following competitions.

Some of the potentially interesting clashes could potentially pit the champions (Ivory Coast) against other powerhouses like Cameroon or Egypt, who find themselves in pot 3.

Group winners and runners-up advance to the quarter-finals. Winners proceed to the semis and then the grand finals on February 5 at the venue of today’s draw.

The four Stadiums to be used for the tournament

VENUE 1: Stade de l’Amitié in Libreville, Gabon

  • It hosted the 2012 AFCON final
  • Has a capacity of 38,000
  • Built by Shanghai Construction Group

AFCON 2017 -Stade De LAmitie

VENUE 2: Port Gentil Stadium

  • Located in the commercial capital, Port Gentil
  • Has a capacity of 20,000 seats
  • Has a 26-room hotel, athletics track, 2 basketball courts

AFCON 2017 - Stade Point Gentil

VENUE 3: Stade de Franceville

  • Located in Franceville, Gabon
  • Has a capacity of 20,000 seats
  • It was opened in January, 2012 for AFCON 2012
  • First game was a friendly between Gabon and Sudan

AFCON 2017 - Stade de Franceville

VENUE 4: Oyem Stadium

  • Located in Assok Ngomo, Gabon (15 km from Oyem)
  • The stadium has a capacity of 20,000 seats
  • It has a 28-room hotel, athletics track,3 tennis courts and 3 basketball courts

AFCON 2017 - Oyem Stadium
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