The 2012 Africa Cup of Nations will kick-off on the third week of January with a series of fixtures that will be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon as four groups of four countries battle it out to determine which nation is king in this part of the world.
Group A, has the most interesting bunch heading into the competition. Group A and B will play in Equatorial Guinea while Group C and D will play in Gabon.
Regulated by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), this year’s Africa Cup of Nations will mark the 28th offering of the most prestigious football competition in Africa as 16 countries will be represented, each going for football supremacy.
Co-hosts Equatorial Guinea will be playing from Group A with Libya, Senegal, and Zambia.
This is the very first time that Equatorial Guinea will appear in the Africa Cup of Nations, earning the spot by virtue of the nation’s status as co-hosts of the tournament. With head coach Henri Michel under the helm, Equatorial Guinea has the pleasure of having his World Cup experience and knowledge from the sidelines. They’ll need it too as every single fixture they will play in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations will pretty much be an uphill battle. Heck, if it wasn’t for them being one of the host countries, they won’t even qualify for the tournament. There, I said it. I’m just stating facts here.
The other co-host on the other hand is Gabon and will be playing from Group C with Niger, Morocco, and Tunisia. Gabon will mark their 5th appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations. Led by a group of young and talented players all itching to make their mark on the international stage, Gabon is ready and willing to go. The problem is, they got rid of their Frenchman head coach Alain Giresse after leading Gabon and showing great promise with their young team last year. Sure, they failed to get out of their group stage after losing to Zambia 2-1 in Benguela but to cut off a man like that after showing some potential is probably not the way to go.
How good will these two host countries do in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations? Will they put on a show in front of their home fans? The biggest international football tournament of Africa is here and whatever the case is, it’s the perfect time to be a football fan.
Come back tomorrow to read the Group B preview featuring one of the favourites for the competition, Cote D’Ivoire.