Three-time champions, the Tremendous Eagles will likely be lacking because the thirty first version of the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off in the present day, when hosts Gabon confront debutants Guinea-Bissau.
4 years on from profitable their third crown in South Africa, Eagles stars and followers are condemned to watching the motion of the 2017 AFCON as spectators, a far departure from the joyous scenes that erupted after defeating Burkina Faso within the closing of the 2013 AFCON on the Soccer Metropolis Stadium,in Johannesburg
Sixty years have handed because the first Nations Cup, which happened in Sudan in 1957, consisted of solely three groups and was received by Egypt.
This 12 months’s version has 32 matches over 23 days, that includes sixteen groups – who start their quest in 4 teams of 4 – and can finish on 5 February with the successful finalists lifting the Italian-made trophy and taking house $4m (£three.28m).
Africa stays enthralled by the match, which has steadily grown to turn into the continent’s largest sporting occasion, and the 2017 finals are assured to supply a mixture of aptitude, shock, controversy and historic moments.
Gabon welcomes again the cream of African soccer solely 5 years after it co-hosted the Nations Cup with Equatorial Guinea.
The nation was awarded the finals by the Confederation of African Soccer as substitute for Libya, which had been on account of host in 2013 however swapped years with South Africa which had been chosen to host in 2017.
The civil warfare in Libya meant it needed to withdraw solely and in stepped Gabon.
Nonetheless, the oil-wealthy nation with a inhabitants of 1.8m has been experiencing its personal troubles since incumbent President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a contested election in August. His victory was adopted by lethal clashes on the streets.
Opposition activists have referred to as on residents to boycott the event as a part of their plans to focus on their protests in opposition to Bongo’s rule.
On the pitch, Gabon are the bottom ranked crew within the finals, occupying 108th spot in Fifa’s world rankings for January.
However they do have of their facet one of many world’s most coveted strikers in Pierre-Emerick Aubamenyang. The Borussia Dortmund ahead goes into the match in scintillating type, having scored 20 targets in 22 video games this season for his German membership.
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