As the African Cup Of Nations is Set To Begin From January 9 to February 6, Can Nigeria emerge as African Champions Again?
The 2021 African Cup of Nations is set to kick-off by January 9 to February 6 in Cameroun, as the hosts take on Burkina Faso in the opening fixtures of the competition at the Country’s capital, Yaounde, at the Stade Omnisport Paul Biya, Olembe.
The 2021 edition of the African Cup of Nations is set to be the 33rd edition organized by CAF. Although it was supposed to have commenced in June –July 2021, the CAF organizers decided to extend the time due to unfavorable climatic conditions during the said period.
The African cup of nations is also set to have 24 countries competing to be crowned African Champions. The Host Nation, Cameroon, got an automatic qualification, leaving 23 other countries to play the qualification tournament.
However, the Nigerian Super Eagles, who just recently sacked their German coach Gernot Rohr, who led the team for five years before he was laid off duties, have now appointed a new manager – Augustine Eguavon – to head into the tournament and help the Super Eagles win their 4th AFCON title.
The Nigerian Super Eagles are seasoned winners of the African Cup of Nations, as they have previously won the competition in 1980, 1994, and 2013. They have been paired alongside Egypt, Guinea-Bissau, and Sudan in Group D of the competition.
The newly appointed coach Augustine Eguavoen is believed to be the perfect fit for the managerial role for the AFCON tournament as he has tasted victory in the tournament back in 1994 as a player, and has also taken the Super Eagles to the Bronze medal as a manager in AFCON 2006.
The team is also blessed with some key players like Wilfred Ndidi, Kelechi Iheanacho, William Troost-Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Victor Osimhen, and so on.
The roaring question remains, will the sacking of Gernot Rohr and the appointment of Augustine Eguavon secure the 4th AFCON title for the West African Giants?
Meanwhile, the tournament also has the defending champions, Algeria, who are the favorites to retain the title as they did in 2019, after defeating Senegal by a goal to nil in Egypt. Algeria has been paired alongside Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, and Sierra Leone in Group E. The Algerian team would be led by their captain Riyad Mahrez and coach Djamel Belmadi.
Another worthy contender for the 2021 AFCON is the Lions of Senegal, who was a finalist for the last AFCON Competition against Algeria. They have key players like Edouard Mendy of Chelsea and Sadio Mane of Liverpool. They have also been paired alongside Guinea, Malawi, and Zimbabwe in Group B.
The Host, Cameroon, who last won the AFCON competition in 2017, will kick-off the competition against Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, and Ethiopia in Group A.