Sports / Updates
Monday, 09 Jan 2017 20:17 EATtmatalanga@kenyafreepress.com
The Africa Cup of Nations commences this Saturday January 14 in Gabon. The continental showpiece features 16 nations playing for to win the bragging rights as Africa's football champions. The three-week tourney is expected to feature some of Africa's finest players plying their trade in some of the worlds best leagues.
The first round of group stage action Group A features rivals Gabon and Guinea-Bissau in the day's opening match at 4.00pm. Cameroon and Burkina Faso, also in the same group, will close the first day of group stage action later on in the day when they will play at 7.00pm. Group B features Zimbabwe, Senegal, Tunisia and Algeria.
On Sunday 15th, Zimbabwe will play Algeria at 4.00pm on while Senegal and Tunisia will face each other later on in the day at 7pm. The group stage fixtures are scheduled at the same time all through the rest of the groups. Group C features the reigning champions Cote D'Ivore, Togo, Morocco and DR Congo while Group D features Uganda alongside perennial favorites Ghana, Mali and Egypt.
Group stage action will take place from the 14th-25th of this month. Teams that would have made it to the quarter finals will be given a two-day rest before the quarter finals take place on the 28-29. The two semi-finals will feature the respective winners of the four quarter-finals and will take place on the 1-2 February respectively. Following that will be a day of rest before the third-place playoff takes place on the 4th before final on the 5th.
The tournament will bring together some of Africa's best footballers of the current generation including Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City, Pierre Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund, Sadio Mane of Liverpool, Wilfred Zaha of Crystal Palace, Eric Bailly of Manchester United and Andre Dede Ayiew of West Ham United.
Matalanga is a student of journalism at the East Africa School of Media Studies and an intern writer at the Kenya Free Press.