VENTURES AFRICA – The Confederation of African Football has announced Gabon as the host of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals. The announcement was made after Gabon won a vote by the CAF executive committee in Cairo. The co-hosts of the 2012 edition beat competition from Algeria and Ghana replacing Libya, who withdrew owing to security concerns amid continuing political strife.
Gabon has also announced that four venues, Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem, will be used for the tournament. Officials from the country’s football federation promise that stadiums will be ready in 14 months for official use.
CAF has announced draws for the qualifying process of the 2017 tournament with thirteen groups featuring four teams each. All winners of each of the 13 groups will qualify automatically for the tournament while two best-placed runners-up will qualify as well. The final entrant will host Gabon who will play in the qualifiers but will not be awarded points.
The African Cup of Nations remains Africa’s premier football event. The last edition hosted by Equatorial Guinea, saw Ivory Coast victorious with a $10 million prize.
Draws for 2017 AFCON qualifiers:
Group A: Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti
Group B: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Central African Republic, Madagascar
Group C: Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan
Group D: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros
Group E: Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau
Group F: Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome
Group G: Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad
Group H: Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius
Group I: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon
Group J: Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles
Group K: Senegal, Niger, Namibia, Burundi
Group L: Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland
Group M: Cameroon, South Africa, The Gambia, Mauritania
Source: New feed25