The Stars, holders Zambia plus hosts South Africa and 13 others will be housed into four groups of four teams each to battle it out for places into the knockout stage and medal zone of the 29th edition of the flagship continental football event.
Ahead of the draw, it has emerged that the Stars, four-time winners or losing finalists at the last edition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, will be housed in either Group B or D, where as hosts South Africa are bound for Group A and holders Zambia’s Chipolopolo for Group C.
After a quiet campaign that saw the Stars edge past minnows Malawi 3-0 on aggregate to go through, the good news is that they can only face neighbours Cote d’Ivoire or emerging bogey side, Zambia at least at the knockout stage.
That should serve some form of respite for Coach Kwesi Appiah and his charges as being paired with the much-touted favourites was certainly going to have a toll on the team.
But the Stars must have to come to terms with the open fact of coming up against either of the quartet; Mali or, Tunisia, Angola and Nigeria.
Also, there is a high probability of having one of the likes of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco and
Niger to be complemented by either DR Congo, Togo, Cape Verde or Ethiopia.
In each case, the Stars should be ready for any team in fulfillment of growing sporting cliche of bypass the best to reach the top.
The ceremony will be highlighted by the presence of South African President Jacob Zuma, CAF President Issa Hayatou with CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani expected to steer the balloting of the teams.
Kwesi Nyantakyi, President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and Black Stars deputy coach, Maxwell Konadu are the Ghanaian representatives for the ceremony that will set the tone for next year’s football tournament.