2021 Africa Cup of Nations: Host Cameroon to face Burkina Faso in tournament opener

•      The biennial African competition begins next January with host nation Cameroon looking to claim a sixth title on home soil.

 By Beng Emmanuel

Host nation Cameroon will face the Stallions of Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Cape Verde in group A of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

The draw was held at the Yaoundé Conference Centre in the presence of Cameroon’s Prime Minister Dion Ngute, and CAF President Dr Patrice Motsepe.

Africa’s footballing legends like Didier Drogba, Gyan Asamoah, and Cameroonian duo of Gaelle Enganamouit, and Samuel Eto’o were tasked with selecting the various balls from the pots into the respective groups.

Cameroon-who are staging the AFCON for the first time since 1972- begin their quest for continental supremacy against Burkina Faso in the tournament opening game at the Olembe Sport Complex on January 9,2022.

The Indomitable Lions are poised to claim their sixth title on home soil after a flawed 2019 campaign when they failed to defend their title losing to arch rivals Nigeria in the round of 16. 

Defending champions Algeria are in group E with Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast.

Record AFCON winners Egypt are pitted against the Super Falcons of Nigeria, Sudan and Guinea Bissau.

Debutants Comoros and the Gambia are lodged in group C and F respectively alongside some of the continent’s heavyweights.

Full Draw

Group A: Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Cape Verde

Group B: Senegal, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Malawi

Group C: Morocco, Ghana, Comoros, Gabon

Group D: Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Guinea Bissau

Group E: Algeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast

Group F: Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Gambia

What to retain from the 2021 AFCON draw

Twenty four (24) teams have been drawn into six groups of four teams each.

The teams in each group will then play in a single round-robin format, and after the group stage, the top two teams and the four best third teams will advance to the round of 16.

The winners will advance to the quarter-finals stage, and from then on, progress to the semi-finals. The semi-final losers will contest a third-place match, while semi-final winners will advance to the final.


The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will take place in six stadia across five host cities.

Group A-Yaounde: Olembe Sport Complex

Group B- Bafoussam: Kouekong Omnisport Stadium

Group C- Ahmadou Ahidjou Stadium Mfandena

Group D-Douala: Japoma Stadium

Group E-Garoua: The Roumde Adjia Stadium

Group F-Limbe: Limbe Omnisport Stadium


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