Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.

 

Countdown begins for Afcon hopefuls

13 November 2012, 10:33Stephen Keshi and John Obi Mikel

Nairobi - Title favourites Ivory Coast are among 14 qualifiers for the 2013 CAF Africa Cup of Nations who begin preparations for the tournament by playing friendlies in Africa, Europe and North America this week.

Ghana and Cape Verde Islands get the ball rolling in Lisbon followed by 15 fixtures on Wednesday from Miami, who host Nigeria and Venezuela, to Johannesburg, where South Africa confront Cup of Nations title holders Zambia.

Ivory Coast, Ghana, Cape Verde, South Africa, Angola, Morocco, Niger, Congo DR, Zambia, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Tunisia and Togo are qualifiers who will be in action.

That leaves Mali and Ethiopia as the only two of the 16 challengers for the Cup of Nations in South Africa between 19 January and 10 February who are not playing.

Ivory Coast tackle Austria in Linz minus injured Arsenal midfield flier Gervinho and a January warm-up against Congo DR is the only other friendly planned before facing Togo in the opening series of Africa Cup fixtures.

The title has eluded the Ivorian 'golden generation', led by Didier Drogba and including Kolo Toure, Didier Zokora and Boubacar Barry, since 2006 and South Africa is seen as the last-chance saloon for the ageing stars.

With a 53-place advantage in the world rankings, the Ivorians are expected to follow up an August draw in Russia by defeating the modest Austrians, even if the low night-time temperature may not be to the liking of the west Africans.

EXPERIMENTAL GHANA VISIT LISBON

Ghana captain and leading scorer Asamoah Gyan misses the trip to the Portuguese capital after the death of his mother in an Accra road accident, and coach Kwesi Appiah plans to test some fringe players.

Among those called up are striker Abdul Warris, who has quit Swedish side Hacken for a five-year contract with Spartak Moscow, and teenage Inter Milan midfielder John Duncan.

Previously anonymous Cape Verde make their Cup of Nations debut next year and the Blue Sharks want to prove that a qualifying victory over four-time African champions Cameroon was not a flash in the pan.

SUPER EAGLES SEEK TO FLY IN MIAMI

Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi could make his debut for Nigeria at 31 - 10 years after turning down another approach to switch allegiances having played for England at age-limit level.

Good form for Spanish La Liga side Levante has earned striker Obafemi Martins a recall with coach Stephen Keshi scanning a large talent pool as the Super Eagles seek a winning formula ahead of a tournament they last won 18 years ago.

Zambia bring the starting 11 from the 2012 final victory over Ivory Coast to Johannesburg for a clash with Cup of Nations hosts South Africa, a team getting used to life without retired captain and Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar.

Out-of-favour Collins Mbesuma and injured Jacob Mulenga missed the Libreville penalty shootout triumph in the final and the strikers could get a chance against Bafana Bafana to impress France-born coach Herve Renard.

Egypt miss South Africa having suffered a stunning qualifying loss to the Central African Republic and Georgia are one of many opponents as the Pharaohs prepare for 2014 Fifa World Cup Brazil™ qualifiers next year.

Cameroon are in a similar situation after flopping against Cape Verde and record four-time African Footballer of the Year Samuel Eto'o and Barcelona midfielder Alex Song are among those chosen for a Geneva friendly with Albania.

The pair do not get along with Eto'o from expensively assembled Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala telling reporters he is "one of the best players in the world and Song is not even among the best in Cameroon".

NEXT ON NEWS24 KENYAX

Manoah turns down Leopards role

16 April 2014, 15:53
Share Print

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
MyNewsKenyaEd
Grandpa records reduce their prod...

Grandpa Records have opened their studios for artists to record their work for an amazing 35% discount running from April 14 - 21, 2014. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
LSK: JSC ruling within the law

Law Society of Kenya chairman Eric Mutua says the decision by the High Court to clip parliament's supervisory role over the Judiciary Service Commision is within the law. Read more...

Submitted by
Millicent Kawii
Judge sues bank for 'bounced cheq...

A Court of Appeal Judge has sued a local bank for portraying him as financially inept after he purportedly issued bouncing cheques to a car dealer. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ruling on JSC puts Judiciary, Exe...

The decision by the High Court to declare president Uhuru Kenyatta's decision to probe six Judiciary Service Commision as illegal has put the judiciary and executive on a collision course. Read more...

Submitted by
DareelEric
106 aliens nabbed in Vihiga

A total of 106 aliens were on Monday night nabbed in Vihiga County in a night-long operation which was undertaken in three major towns of Mbale, Chavakali and Majengo. Read more...

Submitted by
Jonsey
Drug tests in schools await consu...

The NACADA would only introduce compulsory drug tests in schools after consultations with stakeholders, the CEO Dr. William Okedi has said. Read more...