Morocco’s head coach, Walid Regragui, is anticipating one of the most challenging tournaments to date when the Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 is played in the West African country in January.
The tactician, who led his side to the semi-finals of the the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, made this observation In the wake of Thursday’s draw in Abidjan.
The draw placed the Atlas Lions in Group F, alongside DR Congo, Zambia, and Tanzania which led to thoughts of the Atlas Lions getting a favourable draw in the 24-team competition.
Morocco, under Regragui’s guidance, gears up for an AFCON that promises intense competition and high aspirations among all participating nations.
While Morocco’s formidable squad might be considered favorites, Regragui was quick to laud the high level of competition that awaits.
“The next AFCON will be the toughest,” Regragui asserted during an interview with the Moroccan Football Association’s official website.
He noted that there are no weak teams or easy matches in this tournament.
“I don’t think it’s an easy group, but rather balanced,” he said.
In his perspective, balanced groups in competitions of this stature require every team to be thoroughly prepared.
The coach also acknowledged that every participating team, including Morocco, aspires to win the trophy, emphasizing that his players share the dream of winning.
The draw, which unfolded in Abidjan three months before the tournament’s kickoff on January 13 next year, highlights the significance of the event for African football.
Six venues across Cote d”ivoire, including two stadiums in Abidjan, along with newly constructed facilities in Bouake, Korhogo, San Pedro, and Yamoussoukro, are set to host matches.
As the tournament progresses, the top two teams from each of the six groups will advance to the knock-out, alongside the best four third-placed teams.
The grand finale of the tournament will unfold at Abidjan’s illustrious Alassane Ouattara Stadium, with a seating capacity of 65,000, where the new African champions will be crowned on February 11, 2024.