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Live Reporting

Andy Cryer

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Anyway that is all - for now.

    The scene is set, the groups are known and everything is ready for the Africa Cup of Nations to begin in January.

    The opening game will be Equatorial Guinea v Congo on 17 January and you can follow live text commentary of every game in the tournament on the BBC Sport website.

    For now though, why not read more about today's draw here.

    Cheers for your company and cheerio.

  2. Toure's final bow?

    I wonder what Ivory Coast defender Kolo Toure makes of the draw?

    The Liverpool defender has revealed he will retire from international duty after the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

    The 33-year-old made his debut against Rwanda in April 2000 and has gone on to win 109 caps.

    He was part of the squad for the final 2015 qualifiers and is expected to be involved at the 17 January to 8 February finals in Equatorial Guinea. How he would love to end in style.

  3. Stat attack

    - There will be no debutants in January's tournament, with Equatorial Guinea and Cape Verde making their second appearance.

    - Only Nigeria (2015) and Egypt (2012) have failed to qualify after winning the previous tournament.

  4. Post update

    John Bennett, BBC World Service: "Gabon and Burkina Faso - with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jonathan Pitroipa the star names - met in qualifying and will be the favourites to progress from Group A. Group B is wide open. Tunisia and Cape Verde eased through qualifying but both Zambia and DR Congo are in good form. Group C is a nightmare to call. Every match will be close. Meanwhile in Group D, Ivory Coast are reunited with Cameroon, who beat them 4-1 back in September."

  5. Former Cup of Nations champions

  6. Team mates become rivals

    Leicester City team mates Riyad Mahrez (Algeria) and Jeff Schlupp (Ghana) will have plenty to talk about at training tomorrow with their countries drawn together in Group C.

    Newcastle's Papiss Cisse (Senegal) and Mehdi Abeid (Algeria) will also come up against together in the 'group of death'.

    Could be some good 'banter' there then...

  7. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    Some reaction on Twitter here to the draw:

    Isaac Wolofar: Group C: Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Algeria is NOT only the 'Group of Death'. It is the deadliest group ever. INSANE!

    Ted Saker-Clark: Group C is group of death, predict Algeria and South Africa to scrape through

    Conrad: Ghana drawn with Senegal, South Africa and Algeria plus K.Asamoah will miss the tournament. That's Ghana gone then.

  8. Host cities

    The host cities for each group have also been announced...

    Group A - Bata

    Group B - Ebibeyin

    Group C - Mongomo

    Group D - Malabo

  9. Post update

    John Bennett, BBC World Service: "Group C will grab all the headlines after that draw. It contains four teams who could all be considered as genuine contenders for the trophy. Algeria are tournament favourites after their excellent World Cup, Senegal have Premier League stars, South Africa were in great form in qualifying and Ghana are one of Africa's giants. It's a nightmare draw for all four teams."

    But great fun for the rest of us John...

  10. Former Cup of Nations champions

    Africa Cup of Nations
  11. Post update

    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell: Hosts Equatorial Guinea drawn to face neighbours Gabon - they co-hosted the tournament in 2012. Ivory Coast and Cameroon meet in Group D - the two met in the qualifiers Cameroon won at home 4-1 and then it was a 0-0 draw in Abidjan.

  12. Post update

    Group A: Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Gabon, Burkina Faso

    Group B: Zambia, DR Congo, Cape Verde, Tunisia

    Group C: Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Algeria

    Group D: Ivory Coast, Guinea, Cameroon, Mali

  13. Post update

    The last teams are now being drawn...

  14. Post update

    Group A: Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Gabon

    Group B: Zambia, DR Congo, Cape Verde

    Group C: Ghana, Senegal, South Africa

    Group D: Ivory Coast, Guinea, Cameroon

  15. Post update

    BBC World Service's Joanne Smith from Malabo: "Oooos ! from the audience as giants Ghana and Senegal drawn in the same group!

    "Big head to head in Group C."

  16. Post update

    Group A: Equatorial Guinea, Congo

    Group B: Zambia, DR Congo

    Group C: Ghana, Senegal

    Group D: Ivory Coast, Guinea

  17. Post update

    BBC World Service's Joanne Smith: Huge applause for EG opponents in Group A, sound very happy with that match up

  18. Post update

    The opening match of the tournament will be....

    Equatorial Guinea v Congo in Group A.

  19. Post update

    Draw master and Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football Hicham El Amrani is being helped by Mohamed Aboutreika (ex-Egyptian, multiple Afcon winner), Alphonse Tchami (ex-Cameroon & FIFA World Cup 1994, 1998) and former South Africa winning coach Shakes Mashaba.

    In terms of the Africa Cup of Nations, these guys are legends.

  20. Post update

    The top seeds will be in...

    Group A: Equatorial guinea

    Group B: Zambia

    Group: Zambia

    Group D: Ivory Coast

  21. Post update

    We are underway...

  22. Asamoah out

    As the make up of the draw pots is explained, a bit of injury news and it is not great news for Avram Grant from the Ghana camp.

    Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah has been ruled out for at least three months and will miss the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

    The 25-year-old had keyhole surgery on Tuesday to fix a cartilage problem in his left knee.

  23. Post update

    BBC World Service's Joanne Smith: "Still waiting for the draw to start but Equatorial Guinea sports minister Francisco Pascual says his government is aware that it's going to be a big challenge to host AFCON 2015. Speaking at the draw ceremony in Malabo he reassured the Confederation of African Football CAF that the country is ready, with the 4 host cities having good stadiums, hotels and medical facilities."

  24. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    Matthew Lowther: To win Cameroon, it can't get any worst for the lions, to flop Ghana, a generation who have failed to live up to the hype

    Peter Strom: Look out for #BafanaBafana they will come loaded to break the party!

  25. Post update

    The Secretary General of the Confederation of African Football Hicham El Amrani is on stage. He is the draw master for tonight's ceremony so we are go...

  26. Post update

    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell: "According to my schedule Obiang was due to start his speech at 1835 GMT and be finished by 1841 GMT - looks like we are about 15 or so minutes behind schedule - so draw should start at around 1910 GMT.

  27. Post update

    A bit more music from the auditorium before the real business of the draw gets going. Not long now...

  28. Post update

    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell: "Former France international Alain Giresse is in the hall waiting for the draw his Senegal side are in the bottom pot of seeds but they had an impressive qualifying campaign that included two wins over Egypt. Their only loss in the qualifiers came at the hands of Tunisia who ended up topping Group G."

  29. African player of the year

    Yacine Brahimi

    One player who will be taking part in next year's tournament is Algeria and Porto winger Yacine Brahimi - who was voted the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2014.

    The 24-year-old midfielder becomes the first Algerian to win the award, which is decided by football fans, after helping his country reach the last 16 at the World Cup in Brazil for the first time.

  30. Post update


    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell: "The latest speech is coming from the President of Equatorial Guinea is Teodoro Obiang, who has been in power since 1979. He is giving his speech in Spanish the official language of Equatorial Guinea - the only Spanish speaking nation in Africa."

  31. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    aliphotography1: Winners: Algeria. Flops: Ivory Coast. One(s) to watch: The Referees.

  32. Post update

    The Africa Cup of Nations trophy is presented on stage. Who will be lifting it come February? Let us know via #bbcafcon2015 or on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  33. Post update

    Caf president Issay Hayatou: "I thank His Excellency Teodoro Obiang Mbasoko on behalf of CAF. We acknowledge your decision to host the tournament in less than two months a courageous decision worth mentioning for an emerging African country."

  34. Post update

    I reckon the start of the actual draw is now about 20 minutes away.

    We have had plenty of music, some fine tunes it has to be said, we have had the welcome speeches and now Caf president Issa Hayatou is speaking...

  35. Grant back in the game

    Avram Grant

    Remember this man? Of course you do.

    Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has been appointed the new coach of Ghana and has signed a 27-month deal - finishing after the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Grant has only six weeks to prepare the Black Stars for the 2015 Nations Cup in Equatorial Guinea and has been given a target of "doing well" at the upcoming tournament and to win the event two years later.

    Grant is the 32nd head coach of the Black Stars in 57 years. In that time they have also had three caretaker coaches. No pressure Avram...

  36. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    Ben Mittlelman: The Foxes (Algeria) will win it, their striker Brahimi is the player to watch, and I would like to watch Ghana side under Avram Grant.

    We are also gathering your predictions from @bbclovefootball on Twitter.

    It's funny you should mention Avram Ben...

  37. An "imperfect tournament"

    Confederation of African Football president Issa Hayatou has admitted he expects an "imperfect" hosting of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

    Equatorial Guinea have only weeks to prepare for the 17 January to 8 February tournament after replacing original hosts Morocco on 14 November.

    Hayatou told BBC Sport: "If I say there will be no problems, I would be lying. In two months we can't bring together everything that is needed without there being some imperfections."

  38. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    A few more of your tips for the tournament here.

    Haydn Price: Winners: Algeria Flop: Ivory Coast (no more Drogba) Team to watch: Senegal Player to watch: Christian Atsu

    Nii Aryee: Ghana Ivory Coast or Algeria to win. Ghana, Ivory Coast or SA to flop

    Tom Sutherland: Winners: Burkina Faso, Flops: Ghana, Player to watch: Sofiane Feghouli (Algeria).

  39. Post update

    Caf president Issa Hayatou is welcomed on stage as the excitement builds in Malabo ahead of the draw... Plenty of applause as expected.

  40. Post update

    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell: "The dignitaries have been entertained by one of the continent's top musicians the saxophonist Manu Dibango - who no doubt will be keen to find out who Cameroon will be drawn against. The Indomitable Lions put a poor World Cup behind them to go unbeaten in the qualifiers - including a 4-1 thrashing of Ivory Coast."

  41. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    @BakaOmubo: Ghana to win, flops will be Mali, Player to watch is Gervinho

    Here are some of your views from @bbclovefootball on Twitter.

  42. Former Cup of Nations champions

    Africa Cup of Nations
  43. Championship affected to

    It isn't only the Premier League that will be affected either in England.

    Championship Wolves are set to lose Nouha Dicko and Bakary Sako to Mali, while the likes of Bournemouth, Charlton, Middlesbrough, Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday are also bracing themselves for key absences.

    Still, they can't complain. They knew what they were getting when they signed them.

  44. Premier League involvement

    Papis Cisse

    There may be a lot of excitement around as the build up to Afcon gathers pace but you can be assured there are many Premier League managers who aren't so happy.

    There are expected to be around 20 Premier League players called up for the tournament, with them missing domestic matches in January and early February.

    Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, Swansea striker Wilfried Bony and West Ham top scorer Diafra Sakho are among the Premier League players who may miss club games in the new year to compete in the Africa Cup of Nations.

    Newcastle and West Ham could lose the most players - up to three - while Crystal Palace, Leicester and Southampton are set to lose two players each.

  45. Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    @dean_mancity: Winners - Algeria, flops - Ghana, player to watch for - Mahrez

    Join the debate also on the BBC Love African Football Facebook page.

  46. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    Some of your tips on Twitter here of who and what to look out for come January

    Jake Avetoomyan: Team to watch: Cape Verde are going to be the equivalent of Costa Rica from this summer. Player to watch: Bertrand Traore.

    Keith Thomas: Ivory Coast to do well. Bony will be a superstar

    Tommy Fidler: Zambia to win, Cameroon to flop and one to watch Evans Kangwa of Zambia...

  47. Super Eagles out


    The tournament is definitely on then. So who is going to be in it?

    One team who aren't going to be there is reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions Nigeria.

    The Super Eagles - although obviously not so super at the moment - were beaten to a top two spot in their group by 2013 hosts South Africa and Congo.

  48. Join the debate on the BBC Sport Facebook page

    Ochan Araali Emma on Facebook: Winner is Bafana Bafana, player to watch is Brahimi and Feghouli.

  49. Post update


    CAF on Twitter: #AFCON DRAW: The Sipopo Convention Centre in Malabo. Stars, legends & all football "lovers" focused on the city.

  50. Post update


    BBC World Service's Joanne Smith from Malabo: "There's Much anticipation here in Malabo as Africa's top coaches all wait to find out their group match opponents and remember there's no reigning champions Nigeria failing to qualify.

    "But outside this main venue there's little evidence to suggest a major tournament will take place in January! No banners, no advertising but Equatorial Guinea did only find out last month they would be hosts!"

  51. Why Equatorial Guinea?

    Equatorial Guinea

    Equatorial Guinea is one of the continent's smallest countries but will become the first to host two Africa Cup of Nations in a four-year period, having staged it in 2012.

    Caf sounded out potential hosts but the response was cold, with South Africa, the 2013 hosts, Algeria and Sudan all believed to have said no, while Ghana, which staged it in 2008, and Nigeria were tempted but ultimately reluctant.

    With a population of just 740,000 Equatorial Guinea will stage the finals all by itself, having co-hosted with Gabon last time round.

    Since then the country has built new stadiums in both Mongomo and Ebebiyin - the two new venues - which join Bata and the capital Malabo, located on the island of Bioko.

    The speeches are still ongoing in Malabo...

  52. Former Cup of Nations champions

  53. Platini upsets Caf

    Michel Platini

    No surprises the Ebola crisis has caused the Africa Cup of Nations its own problems then.

    Morocco wanted the tournament postponed - before they got expelled - while Uefa president Michel Platini upset the Confederation of African Football after he discussed the impact of the crisis in a TV broadcast.

    Caf accused Platini of "treacherously" interfering but the Uefa president insisted his comments were misinterpreted and demanded an apology.

    Caf said an apology to Platini would not be forthcoming.

  54. The Ebola crisis

    The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was first reported in March 2014, and has rapidly become the deadliest occurrence of the disease since its discovery in 1976.

    Up to 23 November, 5,689 people had been reported as having died from the disease in six countries; Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the United States and Mali.

    The total number of reported cases is in excess of 15,000.

  55. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    Emmanuel: Winners: Ghana Flops: Cameroon One to watch: Rantie (South Africa)

    I want to hear your tips for the tournament, both good and bad. So, let me know your winners, your flops and your player to watch for.

  56. Post update

    BBC Africa's Nick Cavell: "Former Cambridge United manager Claude LeRoy is in Malabo waiting to see who his Congo-Brazzaville side will have to play at the finals in January. It will be the Frenchman's eighth finals with his fifth different nation:

    • 1986 (in Egypt) - Cameroon - Runners Up
    • 1988 (in Morocco) - Cameroon - Winners
    • 1990 (in Algeria) - Senegal - 4th
    • 1992 Senegal (hosts) - Quarter-finals
    • 2006 (in Egypt) DRC - Quarter-finals
    • 2008 Ghana (hosts) - Third place
    • 2013 (in South Africa) DRC - Group Stages (third in group)
    • 2015 - Congo-Brazzaville - ???"
  57. 2015 Nations Cup seedings


    Pot 1: Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia

    Pot 2: Burkina Faso, Mali, Tunisia, Algeria

    Pot 3: Cape Verde, South Africa, Cameroon, Gabon

    Pot 4: Guinea, Senegal, DR Congo, Congo

  58. How the draw works

    Before we talk any more about the history, the players and the teams in the tournament, here is a quick run down on how today's draw, in Malabo, is going to work.

    The Confederation of African Football has divided the 16 teams for the finals into four pots.

    Seedings were established by the teams' performances in the last three editions of the tournament and the qualifiers over the same period. Also taken in to account were results in 2014 World Cup qualifying.

    The draw will determine four groups made up of one team from each pot. Get it? Good.

  59. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    BBC World Service Sport's John Bennett: 16 national coaches feeling very nervous right now. 12 of them praying that they get drawn against Equatorial Guinea. #bbcafcon2015

  60. Post update


    John Bennett, BBC World Service: "The organisers have split up the teams based on how they've performed during the most recent tournaments, so potentially four of the leading contenders could meet in the first round. The "Group of favourites" would include, Ghana or Ivory Coast, with Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal. Ivory Coast and Algeria met during the group stage two years ago and drew 2-2."

    "Meanwhile all the teams in pots 2, 3 and 4 will be praying they are drawn against hosts Equatorial Guinea, who have a very weak looking squad. They've also had hardly any time to prepare. And the potential dark horses to avoid could be Gabon and Cape Verde. Gabon were unbeaten in qualifying and Cape Verde were the first team to qualify for this AFCON."

  61. Post update

    The ceremony has started in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, with the guests being entertained by some funky music before the welcome speeches.

  62. Morocco out, Equatorial Guinea in

    Africa Cup of Nations

    The preparations for the 2015 tournament have been far from smooth, with original hosts Morocco not staging it because of their fears over the Ebola outbreak.

    The Confederation of African Football (CAF) selected Equatorial Guinea as a replacement in November and expelled Morocco from the relocated competition.

    Equatorial Guinea had been disqualified in July for fielding an ineligible player but they are now back in...

    You can't not have the hosts in the tournament can you?

  63. Join the debate at #bbcafcon2015

    Yannick Bolasie

    This is your chance to get involved in tonight's live offering. I want to hear your tips for the tournament, both good and bad. So, let me know your winners, your flops and your player to watch for.

    I'll start you off - Winners: Algeria Flops: Cameroon One to watch: Yannick Bolasie.

    Now it's your turn. Tweet #bbcfacon2015 or post on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  64. The basics

    A few details about the tournament then...

    When is it? 17 January to 8 February.

    Where is it? Equatorial Guinea.

    Who are the defending champions? Nigeria.

    They are the basics but there is a whole lot more to say.

  65. Post update

    Afrcia Cup of Nations

    Good evening and welcome to a live text of the draw for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

    The tournament may still be more than a month away but this is where it starts to get real for Africa's best.

    Who will play who? We are about to find out so stay tuned.

  66. Post update

    Africa Cup of Nations

    Sixteen teams from one continent.

    Yaya Toure

    Some of the best players from the top leagues around the world.

    Africa Cup of Nations

    All battling it out for one trophy - to be the kings of Africa.