The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Gabon is only a few months away, and next month’s draw will see the 16 teams placed into four competition groups.
Despite not being among the three best ranked teams for the month according to the FIFA rankings, the Black Stars of Ghana have been included as one of the four seeded teams, alongside defending champions Côte d’Ivoire, top-ranked national team Algeria and hosts Gabon.
The four teams will be in Pot 1 for the draw which will be held on Wednesday, 19 October in Libreville. The seeds were decided by looking at the performance of national teams in recent editions of the AFCON tournaments, the 2014 World Cup, as well as AFCON and World Cup qualifiers.
Tunisia, Mail, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be in Pot 2, while rivals Cameroon and Senegal will avoid each other as they are both in Pot 3.
The fact that Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria are all top seeds is positive for the competition, as they are likely to be three of the major favourites, and a meeting of these mega-teams in the semi-finals would ensure quality opposition and a mouth-watering encounter at that stage, while hosts Gabon doing well would be good for the tournament atmosphere.
The four AFCON Pots for the October AFCON draw:
Pot 1: Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Algeria
Pot 2: Tunisia, Mali, Burkina Faso, DR Congo
Pot 3: Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt
Pot 4: Togo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau