As we look forward to the 2023 AFCON in Cote D’Ivoire, www.aclsports.com through our Football Reporter Samuel Areo will via this section “AFCON Blues” bring you daily round-up on happenings in different camps of the teams and updates around the 34th edition of the continental showpiece.
Musonda optimistic about Zambia’s chances in difficult Group F
Zambian defender, Frankie Musonda believes Chipolopolo have what it takes to excel in a tight group at the AFCON, Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Group F consisting of Morocco, DR Congo, and Tanzania.
Zambia were champions at the 2012 edition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea after defeating this year’s hosts, Cote d’Ivoire in a dramatic penalty final. Since then, Chipolopolo have not done much on the continent and they now find themselves in a tricky group that requires great mental strength to advance further.
Musonda, who just made a return from an ankle injury sustained on duty at his Scottish club, Ayr United said he was excited to be back in the squad and is optimistic about his side’s chances.
“I am really excited. I was unfortunate to get injured just before October and it carried on into November so I missed out but I’ve been back for six, seven weeks now and I feel good and excited to be part of the team and to be in camp”, said the 26-year-old defender.
“We travel very far so first and foremost; I just want to recover and also work tactically with the manager and tactical team and coaching staff so it should be good preparation ahead of the tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.”
On the toughness of the group, the hard-tackling defender said all teams that had qualified for the tournament, including Zambia were good enough to win any match.
“It’s a very exciting group with tough opponents who qualified for this stage of the tournament. Everyone is a good team. Each game will be tough but, again we believe that each game we can win so I am very excited, and we just have to concentrate” concluded Musonda.
Chipolopolo will face DR Congo in their group opener at San Pedro’s Stade Laurent Pokou on Wednesday, 17 January before other matches against Tanzania and Morocco.
Frank-Alcide Kacou reveals the reason behind AFCON EP
The Director General of Universal Music Africa, Franck-Alcide Kacou, has revealed why an EP featuring various African musicians has been released ahead of the AFCON.
It is the first time that an EP will be recorded and dedicated to the AFCON. The six-track EP features several African artistes such as Yemi Alade, Magic System, Didi B, Roselyne, Layo, Serge Beynaud, Kerozen, CYsoul, Vegedream, Ayanne, Kaaris, Josey, and others.
Yemi Alade, who is the only Nigerian on the list, is featured alongside Magic System and Mohammed Ramadan on the track ‘Akwaba’, which also doubles as the anthem for the tournament.
In a statement on Friday, Mr Kacou said that the company decided to take a different approach this time around and do something that would outlive the competition.
He said, “We wanted to have a different approach from what has been done so far around the previous AFCONS’ anthems. Treat this one like an actual music project that could be the soundtrack of the competition and still live once It’s done.”
“We had a whole plan from the first quarter of 2023 and we rolled it out perfectly with the help of the artists, the CAF and the local organizational committee. The people have been embracing the anthem and its video so far, like never before in the history of AFCONs and I’m sure the EP is going to help amplify the impact globally”.
He added: “We can’t disconnect football and sports in general from lifestyle or entertainment anymore. Especially on the continent today. The audiences are usually the same, the success stories are usually linked, and all industries can benefit from this global narrative. “
“We’ve witnessed how Roc Nation went from managing artists to adding sportsmen and women to their roster. I believe this is where we’re heading more and more, and Africa is a fertile field for such a model”.
As the football continental showpiece approaches, the label has released the EP for streaming on all platforms.
Air Cote d’Ivoire becomes Official Carrier for AFCON
The Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) has announced Air Cote d’Ivoire as the latest Official Sponsor for the 2023 AFCON tournament holding in Côte d’Ivoire.
As the official carrier, Air Côte d’Ivoire will help in facilitating the transportation of teams, officials, and fans to and from the tournament venues across the West African country.
Chief Executive Officer of Air Cote d’Ivoire, Laurent Loukou said: ”We are happy and proud of this partnership with CAF towards organizing a memorable TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations for African football fans and beyond. Subsequently, our fleet and flight schedule have been readjusted to meet the travel needs of the competition.”
The tournament will take place from 13 January to 11 February 2024 in the cities of Abidjan, Bouake, Korhogo, San Pedro, and Yamoussoukro.
Pre-AFCON Friendly Result
Iran 2-1 Burkina Faso
That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.