Factbox on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and hosts Ivory Coast.

Africa Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (24) 1965, 1968, 1970, 1974, 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021

Best performance: Winners 1992, 2015

Drawn in Group A with Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Nigeria.

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Coach: Jean-Louis Gasset

The 70-year-old Frenchman is in his first job as a national team coach, although served as Laurent Blanc’s assistant for two years with the France after the 2010 World Cup. Most of Gasset’s coaching career has been spent in the French league with Montpellier, Saint Etienne and Girondins Bordeaux. He also had two separate spells on the coaching staff at Paris St Germain. Took over as the Ivorian coach in May 2022 and has shaken up the side over the last 18 months.


Key player: Sebastien Haller. Age: 29. Forward.

French-born striker who played in France’s Under-21 side before switching his international allegiance in 2021 and went to the last Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon. He qualifies because his mother is from the Ivory Coast. Haller was diagnosed with testicular cancer but returned after surgery to score nine goals for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga last season. Began his career at AJ Auxerre before spells at FC Utrecht in the Netherlands, Eintracht Frankfurt and West Ham United.

FIFA world ranking Dec 2023: 49

How they qualified: Hosts, but also took part in the preliminaries and were second in Group H behind Zambia but ahead of the Comoros Islands and Lesotho.


Goalkeepers: Yahia Fofana (Angers), Charles Folly (ASEC Abidjan), Badra Ali Sangare (Sekhukhune United)

Defenders: Serge Aurier (Nottingham Forest), Willy Boly (Nottingham Forest), Chester Diallo (Hajduk Split), Ousmane Diomande (Sporting Lisbon), Ghislain Konan (Al Feyha), Odilon Kossonou (Bayer Leverkusen), Evan Ndicka (AS Roma), Wilfried Singo (AS Monaco)

Midfielders: Lazare Amani (Union Saint Gilloise), Idrissa Doumbia (Al Ahli), Seko Fofana (Al Nassr), Max-Alain Gradel (Gaziantep), Franck Kessie (Al Ahli), Ibrahim Sangare (Nottingham Forest), Jean Michael Seri (Hull City)

Forwards: Simon Adingra (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jonathan Bamba (Celta Vigo), Jeremie Boga (Nice), Oumar Diakite (Stade Reims), Sebastien Haller (Borussia Dortmund), Karim Konate (Salzburg), Christian Kouame (Fiorentina), Jean-Philippe Krasso (Red Star Belgrade), Nicolas Pepe (Trapzonspor)


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