AFCON AFCON 2023: Algeria not favourites to win tournament – Belmadi

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has dismissed suggestions they are among the favourites to win the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) trophy in Ivory Coast.

Belmadi stated that hosts Cote d’Ivoire were the team to beat at the tournament starting on January 13. He cited the Ivorians along with the likes of Egypt, Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, and Nigeria as greater contenders than the defending champions.

“We are arriving at this tournament slowly but surely, with a lot of certainty,” Belmadi said when unveiling his squad for the continent’s flagship football competition as quoted by CAFOnline, adding: “But we are reminded of our elimination from the first round of the last edition, followed by our failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. De facto we are not favourites.”

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Algeria did not even reach the knockouts at the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon two years ago or qualify for the 2022 World Cup. But Belmadi still backed his players to perform in Cote d’Ivoire, saying: “We will go there with the intention of obtaining an optimal result.”

Algeria are embarking on a 10-day training camp in the Togolese capital of Lome and play two friendlies before flying to Cote d’Ivoire for the finals.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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