AFCON 2023: Senegal Defends Title, Salah Leads Egypt’s Charge

The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 kicks off in Ivory Coast from January 13 to February 11. Egypt, led by Mohamed Salah, aims for an eighth AFCON triumph after being runners-up twice.

The tournament features top teams like Morocco, Nigeria, and host Ivory Coast, creating a strong competition.

The 24-team format includes six groups, with the top two and the four best third-placed teams advancing to the knockout stage.

Senegal, the defending champion, is considered a favorite, but the tournament’s unpredictability is evident from the seven different winners in the last seven editions.

Salah, who missed out on the 2021 final, is determined to secure victory for Egypt. The tournament was moved to early 2024 to avoid the West African rainy season.

A club versus country debate surrounds Salah, who temporarily stepped away from Liverpool’s Premier League challenge to focus on AFCON.

Notable teams like Morocco, Nigeria, and Ghana, led by West Ham’s Mohammed Kudus, add excitement to the tournament.

The competition promises surprises, with underdogs Equatorial Guinea and debutants The Gambia reaching the quarter-finals in 2021.

South Africa, Angola, Namibia, and Mozambique represent the southern part of the continent, adding diversity to the competition.

As the AFCON unfolds, fans anticipate thrilling matches and the crowning of a new champion. Stay tuned for live coverage on BBC Sport and exciting moments from the tournament.

[Source: BBC Sport]

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