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18.10.2007 Football News

Nations Cup Draw Heats Up

By Daily Guide

AFTER A SUCCESSFUL qualifying series, which started last year with over 50 countries, 15 national teams have qualified to join the hosts, Ghana for the CAN 2008 tournament.

The competition billed from January 20 to February 10, 2008 in the four venue cities, namely Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and Sekondi/Takoradi, would be the third African Cup of Nations (CAN) to be hosted by the country after those of 1963 and 1978.

Countries that have qualified for the tournament include Cote D'Ivoire from Group one, Egypt from Group two, Nigeria from Group three, Sudan and Tunisia from Group four and Cameroon from Group five.

Others are Angola from Group six, Senegal from Group seven, Guinea from Group eight and Mali and Benin from Group nine.

The rest are Namibia from Group 10, Zambia and South Africa from Group 11, and Morocco from Group 12, while Ghana qualified by virtue of being hosts.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) boss, Issa Hayatou and his Executive Committee members, together with sponsors of the event, representatives of the 16 qualified nations and members of the media, will converge on the International Conference Centre in Accra tomorrow at 3.00pm for the draw.

Meanwhile, information reaching DAILY GUIDE SPORTS indicate that the Benin Republic delegation including media men, are in a dilemma as they were warned by the Minister of the Interior that the country would not guarantee their safety while traveling by road to Ghana through Togo.

This admonishment came in the wake of the last Nations Cup qualifying matches which saw Togo losing 2-0 at home against Mali, while Benin won by the same margin against Sierra-Leone in Freetown to qualify, leaving Togo out in the cold.

Investigations conducted by DAILY GUIDE SPORTS reveal that due to the violence that characterized the game between Togo and Mali at Kegue Stadium in Lome Last Friday, CAF would not hesitate to sanction Togo if it found out that its fans indeed beat up Malian players and fans.

According to reports, the Interim President of the Togolese FA, Mr. Walla, also had his car vandalised in the process.

The alleged attack on Malians was yesterday beamed on TV5 in Abidjan, where Issa Hayatou was on a short visit and had the opportunity to watch the tape.

By Pierre Toto