The Confederation of African Football (CAF) chose four of Africa’s most prominent football stars, Didier Drogba, Mikel Obi, Sadio Mane, and Achraf Hakimi, to assist as Draw Assistants for the Final Draw of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
They held the Final Draw for the 34th edition of the biggest event in Africa on Thursday, October 12th at the stunning Parc des Expositions venue in Abidjan. As we approached the grand finale, the anticipation for this event reached an all-time high.
The draw began at 19:00 local time/GMT (21:00 CAT, 22:00 Cairo). CAF TV’s YouTube channel broadcasted it live.
CAF’s Official YouTube channel and CAF’s Global TV partners broadcasted The Final Draw in more than 50 countries, attracting millions of viewers who tuned in to the event.
Didier Drogba, the Ivorian football icon, scored 65 goals in 105 international matches, making him Cote d’Ivoire’s all-time top goal scorer. He had scored the country’s first-ever goal in the FIFA World Cup in 2006. The esteemed Draw Assistants widely regarded Drogba as a beloved hometown hero. The Elephants scored a total of 11 goals in 24 AFCON games with Drogba. Additionally, Cote d’Ivoire reached the AFCON cup finals in both 2006 and 2012 with their crucial role.
Mikel, a former Chelsea teammate, was also present at the event as another big name. Mikel won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria and also earned three AFCON bronze medals with the Super Eagles.
Sadio Mane, the unstoppable player, played a crucial role in Senegal’s victory in the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in 2021. He had led his team to their first-ever title by scoring the winning penalty. Mane earned high respect and won the CAF African Player of the Year award twice. He appeared on the Final Draw stage in Abidjan and was honoured. Mane set the record as Senegal’s all-time top scorer, with an impressive tally of 38 international goals. Additionally, the Teranga Lions showcased his skills in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) by netting eight goals in 18 games.
Hakimi, the right back for Paris Saint Germain, brought a touch of North African stardom to the group of Draw Assistants. He was a member of the Moroccan team that achieved a remarkable run to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Delegations and coaches from all 24 participating nations attended the Final Draw, which marked the beginning of the final phase of the highly anticipated AFCON tournament. Additionally, this exciting event had the presence of CAF legends, international media, CAF commercial partners, showbiz celebrities, and African leaders. We expected it to be the best AFCON ever.