LUANDA - World Cup qualifiers Ghana and Ivory Coast will clash in the first round of the African Nations Cup after the draw here Friday placed them in Group B with Burkina Faso and Togo.
Defending champions Egypt, seeking a record third consecutive title in the biennial continental football showpiece, are in Group C with Nigeria, Mozambique and Benin.
Angola, the former Portuguese colony which is staging a competition first held 52 years ago in Sudan, are in Group A with Mali, Malawi and Algeria and appear capable of finishing among the top two and reaching the quarter-finals.
Cameroon, who have won the Nations Cup four times, are the team to beat in Group D, which is completed by Gabon, Zambia and Tunisia.
Capital city Luanda will host the opening match on January 10 and the final on January 31 and provincial centres Benguela, Cabinda and Lubango complete the venue line-up.
This Nations Cup is expected to attract massive international attention as it falls five months before South Africa stages the first World Cup to be held in Africa.
African Nations Cup draw made here Friday:
Gp A - Angola, Mali, Malawi, Algeria
Gp B - Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo
Gp C - Egypt, Nigeria, Mozambique, Benin
Gp D - Cameroon, Gabon, Zambia, Tunisia
Matches to be played between Jan 10 and 31 in Luanda, Benguela, Cabinda and Lubango.