The Super Eagles of Nigeria have been drawn with hosts Ivory Coast alongside Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in the 2024 African Cup of Nations group stage.
The draw, which took place on Thursday at the brand-new Parc des Expositions in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, was hosted by global music artist Akon.
Didier Drogba, Mikel Obi, Sadio Mane, and Achraf Hakimi, a heavyweight quartet of Africa’s biggest current and former football superstars, assisted the Confederation of Africa Football as draw assistants during the pairing.
The Super Eagles were seeded in Pot 2 following a drop in the FIFA rankings released in September.
The Super Eagles knew they were up against one of the continent’s top-seeded teams according to their ranking.
While they dodged a clash with the North African sides, Jose Peseiro’s men were dealt a difficult start to their campaign with a match against the Elephants.
The match at Abidjan’s 60,000-capacity Alassane Ouattara Stadium is one of the tournament’s most anticipated group stage matches.
Ivory Coast has won the tournament twice, once in 1992 and again in 2015.
Both teams were also in the same group in 1980, when Nigeria hosted the football extravaganza, which ended in a stalemate.
Egypt, the defending champion, was placed in Group B with Ghana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique.
Senegal leads Group C, which also includes Cameroon, Guinea, and the Gambia.
Algeria will compete in Group D against Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Angola. In Group E, Tunisia faces Mali, South Africa, and Namibia, while Group F has Morocco, who are ranked number one in Africa, the DR Congo, Zambia, and Tanzania.
The 2023 AFCON tournament is set to begin from January 13, 2024 to February 11.