2012 (Orange) Africa Cup of Nations [ACN] – Introduction

On Saturday 21 January 2012 the Africa Cup of Nations begins with the opening game between Equatorial Guinea and Libya in the 28th tournament to be held and will close with the Final on Sunday 12th February 2012 at the Stade de l’Amitié in Gabon. This 2012 competition is being co-hosted in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

The tournament features 16 team split into four groups and they are as follows:

 Group A: Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Senegal, Zambia.

Group B: Ivory Coast, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Angola.

Group C: Gabon, Niger, Morocco, Tunisia.

Group D: Ghana, Botswana, Mali, Guinea.

Two go through from each group, with a knock-out phase to follow. To some looking at the list of participants, there will be ‘raised eyebrows’ at some of the teams that didn’t qualify. Of the top ten international sides in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) rankings, six failed to qualify. These include Algeria (who could only finish third in the Qualifying Group won by Morocco), the winners of the last three ACN tournaments, Egypt, 2010 World Cup host South Africa as well as Nigeria and Cameroon, who both finished runners-up in their respective Qualifying Groups. However, fourteen of the sixteen teams in the 2012 tournament are from the top twenty two in the CAF rankings. Only Sudan (ranked thirtieth) and Equitorial Guinea (forty first) sit outside this group. This will be the first Finals appearance for Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and Niger.

Over the years with a greater influx of African players into the European game, the profile and interest of the ACN tournament has spread amongst the media and football fans alike. In the 2012 tournament, 65% of the players ply their trade away from their home nations, with French clubs providing 62 players. Sudan is the only team this year with all 23 squad members playing in their own domestic competition. The following players from British clubs will be representing their respective countries:

Ghana: John Pantsil (Leicester City)

Ivory Coast: Kolo Touré (Manchester City), Sol Bamba (Leicester City), Yaya Touré (Manchester City), Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United), Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Salomon Kalou (Chelsea), Gervinho (Arsenal).

Morocco: Badr El Kaddouri (Celtic), Adel Taarabt (QPR), Marouane Chamakh (Arsenal).

Senegal: Armand Traoré (QPR), Mohamed Diamé (Wigan Athletic), Guirane N’Daw (Birmingham City), Demba Ba  (Newcastle United), Papiss Demba Cisse (Newcastle United).

In terms of the bookies, favourites to win the competition are Ivory Coast, with Ghana, Senegal, Morocco and Tunisia prominent in the betting. As for outsiders, co-hosts Equatorial Guinea are considered a long-shot.

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Posted January 20, 2012 by Editor in category "2012 Africa Cup of Nations


  1. By Pedrito on

    So far it’s been an amazing tournament! Good luck for all nations there! Greetings from Finland! ^^


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