The 2017 African Nations Championship (AfroBasket) commences today with games set to be played in Dakar, Senegal and Tunis, Tunisia. All 16 teams competing in the tournament will be in action in the opening round and the tournament is set to end on Saturday, September 16.
West African powerhouse Nigeria are the defending champions and finalists automatically qualify to the 2019 World Cup to be held in China. Here are a few facts about the continental competition:
-This year’s event is the 29th edition and has all nine previous winners of the tournament including Central African Republic and Ivory Coast competing.
-It is the first ever tourney to be co-hosted. Senegal and Tunisia hold this unique honor after Angola and Congo Republic failed to honor hosting rights due to a mix of political issues and financial challenges respectively. Previous tourney have have been held in different cities in one country but none has been held in two countries.
-Angola are the record winners with 11 titles and reigning champions Nigeria heads to the competition hoping to be the first country to defend the title since Angola did it in 2009 after winning in 2007.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter