Excitement as Africa football fiesta AFCON 2023 begins today

THERE is excitement in the air as the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 kicks off today, January 13.

The first match of the 34th edition of the African championship will see the host Ivory Coast take on Guniea-Bissau.

Ivory Coast is hosting the rest of the continent for the second time.

The host failed to go past the group stage in 1984 and looking for their third continental title. They last won it in 2015.

Many clubs have the potential to win the title, making this year’s football fiesta the most unpredictable yet.

The tournament starts today, Saturday, January 13, and ends on February 11.

The breakdown of each AFCON 2023 group is shown below.

*Group A – Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau
*Group B – Egypt, Mozambique, Ghana, Cape Verde
*Group C – Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Gambia
*Group D – Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Angola
*Group F – Zambia, Tanzania, Morocco, DR Congo

Using its supercomputer, the British sports analytics business Opta Sports was able to forecast the results of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ivory Coast.

According to their data, Nigeria is the sixth-best country to win the competition, providing a chance for glory after a ten-year absence.

According to Opta’s forecast, Nigeria has an 8.1% chance of winning the trophy.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2015 and 2017 editions of the tournaments. They also finished third place in 2019 and 2022.






     

     

    Nigerians hope the Eagles, led by coach Jose Paseiro, will do better this time.

    An Abuja-based sports enthusiast, Walbe Mitchel, told The ICIR that he’s excited about the tournament and expects the Super Eagles to go far at the championship.

    “Yes.its AFCON time. African footballis very exciting and we are looking forward to this on. I hope Nigeria can win it,” he said.

    He described the injury to Super Eagles striker Victor Boniface as a setback for the team.

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