14 countries have booked their spot at the 2023 African Cup of Nations(AFCON ) finals in Cote D’Ivoire next year. But for Cameroon, most of the big names have secured a ticket for the 34th edition of the competition.
Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Zambia Burkina Faso, Egypt, Nigeria and Cape Verde have all joined hosts Ivory Coast to secure a place at next year’s soccer frenzy.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Blue sharks of Cape Verde were the latest to pick up a qualification ticket, following victories over Sierra Leone and Burkina Faso respectively.
Cape Verde outsmarted an already qualified Burkina Faso to progress second from Group B with 10 points, dumbing Togo and Eswantini.
While the race to participate in the 24-team tournament is still on, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon who are second highest title holders (five-time winners) are still struggling to qualify from a group with underdogs, Namibia and Burundi.
It became even more complicated when Cameroon lost to Namibia in day three of the qualifiers, to let the latter go top of group C with 5 points, one ahead of Cameroon. The disqualification of Kenya left the group with just three teams.
Though Cameroon still has a chance, Burundi who seat third with just a point, will face Namibia on Tuesday, June 20 and if they happen to beat group leaders, they’ll be level on points with Cameroon who must go in search of victory in their last encounter in order to reach the finals next year.
Cameroon will lock horns with Burundi on September 4, to decide their fate as they go in search of a 21st participation ticket to Africa’s biggest football showpiece.
Just like Cameroon’s group, Group E and I is yet to produce it own participants. Only group A, B, H, J and K have managed to produce all two representatives.
This mean, there’s still hope for Namibia, Cameroon, Burundi, Guinea, Ghana, Angola, Central Africa Republic, Tanzania, Uganda, Congo, Gambia, DR Congo, Gabon, Sudan, Mauritania, Mozambique and Benin to produce the last 10 participants.
The Competition is scheduled to run from January 13 to February 11, 2024 in five host cities across Cote D’Ivoire.
Group A Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, São Tomé and Príncipe
Group B: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswantini
Group C: Namibia, Cameroon, Burundi
Group D: Egypt, Guinea, Malawai, Ethiopia
Group E: Ghana, Angola, CAR, Madagascar
Group F: Algeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Niger
Group G: Mali, Gambia, Congo, South Sudan
Group H: Zambia, Ivory Coast , Comoros, Lesotho
Group I: Dr Congo, Gabon, Sudan, Mauritania
Group J: Equitorial Guinea, Tunisia, Botswana, Libya
Group K:South Africa, Morocco, Liberia, Zimbabwe
Group L: Senegal, Mozambique, Benin, Rwanda
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