AFCON 2023: Ivory Coast FA Boss Snubs Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Names Favourite to Win Title

AFCON 2023: Ivory Coast FA Boss Snubs Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Names Favourite to Win Title

Ero Samson
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
In this article:
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Ivory Coast
  • The countdown to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations is in full swing
  • A host of nations are tipped to win the tournament in Ivory Coast
  • The host nation's FA boss has named his favourites to win the title

Excitement for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) continues to reverberate, spreading across the football scenes of the continent.

Numerous nations are eager to make their mark on the competition's rich history, with some aiming to surpass their previous performances.

As the tournament approaches, the President of the Ivorian Football Federation, Yacine Idriss Diallo, has addressed the media to discuss his country's readiness for the event.

AFCON, CAF, Yacine Idriss Diallo, Patice Motsepe, Gianni Infantino.
Ivory Coast's Football Federation president, Yacine Idriss Diallo with FIFA president, Gianni Infantino and CAF president, Patrice Motsepe. Image: Issouf Sanogo.
Source: Getty Images

He also highlighted a list of teams that he believes are well-prepared and capable of winning the prestigious tournament.

The 63-year-old, who became the president of the Ivorian FA in October 2022, per Transfermarkt, appears to have many pleased with his country’s preparation for the AFCON. However, his predictions for the eventual winners of the tournament are sure to ruffle a few feathers.

Ivory Coast president on AFCON winners

Diallo, who sat down for an interview with media outlet, FourFourTwo, was faced with a flurry of questions.

When quizzed about his country's performance in the upcoming tournament, he expressed optimism, stating that they are well-prepared but not considered favourites.

Pressed further on which teams he considers ideal to win the title, Diallo remarked:

"I trust our team, but we know that we are not favourites. The favourites are Morocco, Senegal, Egypt, all those teams. We're building a new team."

He acknowledged the team's lack of experience might impact their performance, especially with many young players participating in their first competition. Despite this, Diallo expects his team to put up a commendable fight.

"If you see our team now, quite a number of them are very young; it's their first competition, but we will try to bring a very good squad to be ready. We will try to do our best to go as far as possible and try to win the trophy. This is why we are here."

Diallo's choices of contenders would raise eyebrows, given the impressive attacking capabilities of other teams, notably the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Ivory Coast are set to kick off their AFCON campaign in a group-stage clash against Guinea-Bissau on February 13 at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan.

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Teams with the most to prove at AFCON

Sports Brief also previously reported on African national teams with the most to prove in AFCON 2023.

Ghana and Nigeria are expected to go all the way since they have produced some of Africa's best players.

Despite having some of the best African talent over the years, Morocco have struggled to make their mark.

Ero Samson photo
Ero Samson
Samson Ero is a sports journalist with a track record of over five years in the Nigerian media industry. He graduated from Nigerian Institute of Journalism (2021-2023).