- Kaba Diawara will guide Guinea in the second AFCON tournament in Côte D’Ivoire
- It will be the country’s 14th event and provide the chance of facing two nations they face in the last edition in Cameroon, plus the five-time champions
- Kaba Diawara has shown fear and recommends panacea for big big opponents
- Guinea will be based in Yamoussoukro during the group stage of the tournament
Kaba Diawara, the head coach of the Sily National of Guinea says his team needs to shun fear and embrace the challenge of going toe-to-toe against big guns during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament in Côte D’Ivoire.
Diawara made the rallying call on Thursday evening, just after the draw process at the ‘Parcs de Expositions’ in Abidjan Côte D’Ivoire placed them on the same group with defending champions – Senegal and five-time winners – Cameroon and ‘new force’ The Gambia that eliminated them to reach the last eight in the previous edition.
Coach Kaba and his team are no strangers to games against Senegal at the flagship continental showpiece. The former Bordeaux defender guided his nation during the previous edition of the tournament in Cameroon and finished runners-up in a group that also had Senegal.
To him, his team has one fear to avoid to give themselves a fair chance in the group.
“It’s the group of death. We respect all the nations, but we are not afraid of anyone. We just need to man up. To be ready from the first game,” Diawara told Canal+ minutes after the draw.
The self belief of Diawara and his players helped them reach the last 16 of the previous AFCON tournament but they were knocked out by an amazing The Gambia side, under stewardship of Tom Sanfiet. Both nations share group C together this time around, alongside Cameroon and Senegal.
Diawara believes the group is opened and they have their chance in it.
“We go with our chance of qualification and we will try to take that,” the 47-year-old stated.
Whatever opponent they face, the gaffer knows Guinea is at the stage of their football history that mandates them to at least reach the business end of the next AFCON.
Current Bundesliga top scorer, Ser Guirassi, who counts 13 goals after seven league matches for VFB Stuttgart in the German top-flight this term and Weder Bremen’s Naby Keita have the obligation to make Guineans believe they can match the 1976 runners-up finish as they head into their 14th AFCON tournament.
The Group C teams will be based in Yamoussoukro when the competition gets underway on January 13 and run till February 11, 2024.
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