Africa Cup of Nations: Draw is made for the delayed 2021 tournament in Cameroon

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Africa Cup of NationsAlgeria beat Senegal in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final to win the tournament for a second time.

The reigning champions Algeria have drawn former winners Ivory Coast in the group stage of the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.

At a star-studded ceremony in Yaounde on Tuesday, Algeria were drawn in Group E where they will also face Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea.

24 teams will play in the tournament which will run from 9 January to 6 February, with the winners and runners-up in each of the six groups, plus the best four third-placed teams reaching the knockout phase.

A host of dignitaries attended the draw including Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Patrice Motsepe, Cameroon legend Roger Milla and African football icons such as Didier Drogba, El Hadji Diouf and Samuel Eto'o.

In other draw highlights, Arsenal team-mates Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will face each other in Group C after Partey's Ghana drew Aubameyang's Gabon. Debutants Comoros make up the group alongside top seeds Morocco.

The other tournament debutants - The Gambia - will play in Group F alongside Tunisia, Mali and Mauritania.

Nigeria - three times winners of the Cup of Nations - have a tough test in Group D where they will face Mohamed Salah's Egypt, Sudan and Guinea-Bissau.

Sadio Mane's Senegal who faced the heartbreak of losing the 2019 final to Algeria will take on Zimbabwe, Guinea and Malawi in Group B.

Hosts Cameroon, seeking a sixth Nations Cup title, were put in Group A with Burkina Faso, who they will face in the opening match in Yaounde, Ethiopia and Cape Verde.

The 2021 Nations Cup had to be postponed twice due to wet weather concerns and Covid-19 and even the draw, originally set for June, was delayed by the pandemic.

Cameroon were selected to stage the 2019 tournament, but fell behind with their preparation and Egypt had to take over at short notice.

Africa Cup of Nations 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, The Gambia
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