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African Nations Championship

Chan 2022: Ghana nightmare as Black Galaxies drawn against Morocco

3:56 PM EDT 10/1/22
Morocco Mali CHAN 2020
Ghana will face holders Morocco in their group during the 2022 African Nations Championship following the draw conducted in Algiers on Saturday.
  • Ghana will face champions Morocco in Group C
  • Black Galaxies given nightmare draw
  • Hosts Algeria also in tricky group

WHAT HAPPENED? The Black Galaxies, runners-ups in 2009 and 2014, got the nightmare draw that will see them square it out in Group C against champions Morocco, who claimed the last two titles as well as Sudan, third-place finishers in 2011 and 2018, with Madagascar completing the pool.

Ghana qualified for the tournament, reserved for local-based players, when they eliminated bitter rivals Nigeria following 5-4 on post-match penalties after a 2-2 draw on aggregate. Ghana won 2-0 at home before losing by the same margin away.

Hosts Algeria are in Group A alongside Ethiopia, Libya (2014 champions) and Mozambique and will be hoping to emulate Morocco, who won it on home soil, while 2020 beaten finalists Mali, who also lost the 2016 final, have Angola and Mauritania in Group D.

The Democratic Republic of Congo, two-time winners in 2009 and 2016, have Uganda, Ivory Coast and Senegal in Group B while 2020 hosts Cameroon face Congo and Niger in Group E.

WHAT DID THEY SAY? “This Chan competition that will be held in January will be the best in history of this competition,” said Caf president Patrice Motsepe.

“There is a huge amount of excitement in Algeria and Africa has over the years produced some of the best players, the players such as Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, [Didier] Drogba the list goes on.

“Part of our objective as Caf is to build towards an African nation being the champions of the world to and win the Fifa World Cup and this country [Algeria] is one of the many that have the potential to do that now and over time.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2022 tournament was moved to January 2023 from the initial July-August this year due to Covid-19 disruptions.

Morocco, winners of the last two competitions, are still considered favourites although Mali should provide some stiff competition given their recent impressive performances.

Hosts Algeria will also be under pressure to deliver at home, especially after bitter rivals Morocco achieved a similar feat in 2018, while their fans are looking for some relief after the senior team failed to retain their Africa Cup of Nations title.

WHAT NEXT FOR CHAN? The 2022 tournament will take place between January 13 and February 4, 2023 in five venues across the four cities of Algiers, Oran, Annaba and Constantine.