Ghana’s Black Stars face a tough Africa Cup of Nations campaign after being drawn up against defending champions Indomitable Lions of Cameroun, Benin and Guinea-Bissau in Group F.
Friday’s draw, held in Cairo under the supervision of Anthony Baffoe, the Ghanaian Deputy General Secretary of CAF, handed Kwasi Appiah’s side no favours as they face a formidable opposition from five-time winners Cameroun, against whom the Black Stars have had many battles, including the last AFCON in Gabon two years ago where they stopped Ghana from making it to the final with a 2-0 win in the semi-finals in Franceville.
Their Group F clash in Ismailia on June 29 will be the sixth match between the two sides since their first encounter at the 1982 tournament.
It will be the first time Ghana will play West African rivals Benin at the AFCON tournament, even though the two countries had previously clashed in the qualifiers for the 1992 Nations Cup in Senegal.
Ghana’s encounter with Guinea-Bissau on July 2 in Suez will be the first clash between the two teams at the AFCON.
The Black Stars open their campaign with a clash with Benin on June 25 and follow with a date with Cameroun four days later and then take on Guinea-Bissau.
It will be the second appearance by Guinea-Bissau after their impressive debut at the last competition in Gabon when they failed to go past the group stage.
Hosts Egypt were handed what looks like a manageable group as the seven-time African champions have been pooled with two-time champions DR Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The Pharaohs open the tournament with a relatively easy encounter with the Warriors of Zimbabwe on June 21 at the Cairo International Stadium.
Yesterday’s draws pitted three-time champions Nigeria against Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi in Group B in Alexandria.
Group C will see Sadio Mane’s Senegal battle with 1990 African champions Algeria and East African sides, Kenya and Tanzania.
Group D could pass for the so-called ‘Group of Death’ as it pits Namibia against three former champions — Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire and South Africa.
Morocco and Namibia get the group campaign underway on June 23 in Al Salam.
Former winners Tunisia have been handed a tricky group after being pooled with Mali, Mauritania and Angola.
Tunisia, whose only continental title came in 2004, get their Group E campaign off with a date with Angola on June 23 in Suez.