Defending champions Egypt, contenders Cameroon and Nigeria and last year’s World Cup hosts South Africa are among the notable absentees from the recent African Nations Cup draw, as this years order was overturned by a series of shock results in the qualifiers.
Egypt, who have won the last three tournaments, tumbled out early in the preliminaries, Cameroon were also eliminated before the final round of qualifiers and Nigeria lost out on a dramatic last day of qualifying action.
South Africa’s absence is due in part to the terrible management of Coach Pitso Mosimane mis-reading the qualifying rules. The South African coach played for a draw instead of a win in their final qualifier at home to Sierra Leone. That mistake allowed Niger to qualify at South Africa’s expense.
Four venues are being used for the three week tournament. Group A will be based in Bata and Group B in Malabo. Group C is based in Franceville and Group D in Libreville, the Gabonese capital which also hosts the final.