The biggest football event in the Africa continent, the Africa Cup of Nations, held in Côte d’Ivoire from January 13-Feburary 11, kicked off on Saturday evening and the tournament’s opening ceremony at launched at Alassane Ouattara Stadium, the Olympic Stadium of Ebimpé.
The opening ceremony
The ceremony began at 8:25 pm Cairo time. It was broadcast at the beIN Sports channel group, which has obtained the exclusive broadcast rights for the tournament, while the opening ceremony aired on the beIN Sports news channel.
The ceremony witnessed parades celebrating the tournaments history, alongside a special performance of the 2023 African Cup of Nations song “Akwaba.”
“Akwaba” translates to welcome in the Ivorian language, and was the name given to the mascot of the African Cup of Nations.
Mohamed Ramadan joins opening ceremony
Singer Mohamed Ramadan is the only Arab artist who participated in the official song of the African Cup of Nations, alongside Nigerian singer Yemi Alade and the Ivorian musical group, Magic System.
African football legends in the Côte d’Ivoire
The opening ceremony featured a host of African football legends, including Didier Drogba, Ahmed Hassan, Samuel Eto’o, El Hadji Diouf, Karim Ziani and karim Hadji.
Following the ceremony, the first match of the African Cup of Nations between the Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea Bissau teams began at 10:00 pm Cairo time, and broadcast on the beiN AFCON channel, with Hafid Darraji commentating on it.
Africa Cup of Nations groups
- Group A: Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and Guinea Bissau.
- Group B: Egypt, Ghana, Cape Verde, and Mozambique.
- Group C: Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, and Gambia.
- Group D: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, and Angola.
- Group E: Tunisia, Mali, South Africa, and Namibia.
- Group F: Morocco, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and Tanzania.
Egypt’s national team
The Egyptian national team plays in the second group with Ghana, Mozambique and Cape Verde, and plays its first match against Mozambique on Sunday, January 14, then against Ghana on January 18.
It will conclude its matches in the group stage against Cape Verde on January 22.