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Oct 25, 2012

African Nations Cup draw announced

Defending African Nations Cup champions Zambia will face two-time winners Nigeria in the group stage of next year's tournament after the draw was announced in Durban on Wednesday.

Zambia shocked the world with their triumph last time around and will be looking to defend their title in South Africa next January. However they face a stern test to defend their crown after landing in a tough group.

Nigeria, who return to the finals after failing to qualify for last years tournament, will pose the biggest challenge to Zambia whilst Burkina Faso and Ethiopia round out Group C.

Hosts South Africa will open the tournament against Cape Verde in Johannesburg on January 19, with the debutants riding high after eliminating Cameroon to seal their spot in the finals. It won't be an easy task to progress from this group however with Angola and Morrocco sure to prove tough to beat.

One of the early favourites, Ivory Coast have been handed one the most difficult routes to the knockout stage after they were drawn in Group D with Togo, Algeria and Tunisia.

Whilst Ghana, who have previously won the tournament on four occasions will be looking to end their 31-year wait to win the tournament in Group B alongside DR Congo, Niger and Mali.

The tournament will run from January 19 until February 10 and return to many of the cities that were used for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg all hosting matches.

African Nations Cup draw:

Group A - South Africa, Cape Verde, Morocco, Angola.

Group B - Ghana, DR Congo, Niger, Mali.

Group C - Zambia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Nigeria.

Group D - Ivory Coast, Algeria, Tunisia, Togo.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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