·22 September 2023
·22 September 2023
The Africa Cup of Nations is an international tournament that garners a lot of attention from fans of European clubs as it clashes with a number of major domestic leagues and leads to squads being left short.
Nonetheless, it is a wonderful competition that features many of the world's best players and teams from a wide variety of countries that share one massive continent.
The qualification phase has come to an end with the 24 competing nations now confirmed. The group stage draw has not yet taken place, with 12 October 2023 the set date.
The 34th addition of AFCON will be held from 13 January to 11 February 2024 in the Ivory Coast. Les Elephants finished second in their qualification group behind Zambia and aren't favourites to claim victory in front of their own fans.
Six stadiums will host matches at AFCON 2023, with the final set to be held at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, which holds 60,000 people.
AFCON 2023 will be held in Ivory Coast / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages
There are 24 teams competing in AFCON 23. Defending champions Senegal are one of the teams in Pot 1, along with host nation Ivory Coast and continental heavyweights such as Morocco, Egypt and Algeria.
Osimhen will be vital to Nigeria's chance / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/GettyImages
As you can tell from Pot 1, the North African sides generally play the best football at this time. In Pot 2, we see more teams from further south of the continent. Nigeria are probably the standout team in Pot 2 with an impressive squad that features Napoli striker Victor Osimhen.
Cape Verde sit in Pot 3 / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/GettyImages
Despite winning their qualification group, Zambia find themselves in Pot 3 and are certainly a team other nations will want to avoid. Beyond Zambia, there isn't a lot of quality that will seriously frighten the teams in higher pots.
These are certainly the minnows of the tournament but every nation is there on merit. Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau and the rest will be thrilled to get out of the group stage if they can manage it, with each third-placed team in with a chance of joining first and second in the knockout stages.
Osimhen and Nigeria will eye glory at AFCON 2023 / Octavio Passos/GettyImages
Nigeria's Victor Osimhen was the goalscorer who stood high above the rest in AFCON qualifying over the past year.
It's no great surprise when you also consider he was Serie A top scorer in 2022/23 and has been in great form for a long time, finishing with double the number of goals of those who were tied in second place.