The 28th Africa Cup of Nations kicks off on January 21 with a Group A match between co-host Equatorial Guinea and Libya. Sixteen teams have been drawn into groups — Group A (the aforementioned with Senegal and Zambia), Group B (Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Angola), Group C (co-host Gabon, Niger, Morocco and Tunisia), and Group D (Ghana, Mali, Botswana and Guinea). The tournament final will be played on February 12 at the Stade d’Angondjé in Libreville, Gabon.
As with last year’s Copa America and Asian Cup tournament, the Bundesliga will again be well-represented in an important non-European competition, with thirteen players from German clubs involved. Egypt, Cameroon and Ghana have traditionally dominated this tournament, but with the Pharoahs and Indomitable Lions failing to qualify for the 2012 AFCON, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire are the early favorites to be crowned champions, although Tunisia and Morocco look to have strong rosters, also. Generally the host nation(s) for the tournament do well, so Gabon and Equatorial Guinea will seek to continue that tradition and make an impression on the footballing world.
Ghana – Isaac Vorsah (Hoffenheim), Charles Takyi (St. Pauli), Mohammed Abu (Eintracht Frankfurt — on loan from Chelsea)
Côte d’Ivoire – Arthur Boka (Stuttgart), Didier Ya Konan (Hannover 96)
Tunisia – Sami Allagui (FSV Mainz 05), Karim Haggui (Hannover 96), Ammar Jemal (FC Koln)
Morocco – Mohamed Amsif (FC Augsburg)
Guinea – Ibrahima Traoré (Stuttgart), Mamadou Bah (Stuttgart)
Mali — Garra Dembélé (SC Freiburg)
Angola – José Pierre Vunguidica (FC Koln on loan to SC Preußen Münster)
Senegal – none now that Papiss Demba Cisse (SC Freiburg) has moved on to Newcastle with Demba Ba
Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, Zambia, Botswana, Libya, Sudan and Burkina Faso do not have any players from Germany on their rosters.