CAF holds 2021 AFCON group stage draw

CAIRO, EGYPT - JULY 19: Goalkeeper Rais M'Bolhi Ouhab holds the trophy as Algerian team celebrate championship after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo Stadium in Cairo, Egypt on July 19, 2019. Algeria won their first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in 29 years, beating Senegal 1-0 late Friday in Egypt. (Photo by Fared Kotb/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) on Tuesday held the draw for the group stage of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Yaoundé Conference Centre in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The hosts and five-time champions Cameroon were drawn in Group A alongside 2013 finalists Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Cape Verde.

FILE PHOTO: An Algerian player celebrates with the Africa Cup of Nations trophy after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final match between Senegal and Algeria at the Cairo Stadium in Cairo, Egypt. /Getty Images

2019 finalists Senegal, the continent’s top-ranked nation, was drawn in Group B with Zimbabwe, Guinea and Malawi.

Former champions Morocco were pooled together in Group C with four-time winners Ghana, debutantes Comoros and Gabon.

Group D will feature three-time winners Nigeria, record seven time winners Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

Defending champions Algeria are in Group E with Sierra Leone, the last team to qualify for the tournament, Equatorial Guinea and two-time winners Côte d’Ivoire.

2004 champions Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania and debutantes Gambia round off the teams in Group F.

The tournament will be held between January 9-February 6, 2022, and will be hosted by five cities: Douala, Yaoundé, Bafoussam, Garoua and Limbe.

The opening match will be played on January 9 at the newly-built Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé.