Ivory Coast drawn against ex-coach Renard at Nations Cup
Ivory Coast have been drawn against Democratic Republic of Congo, Togo and Morocco for the 2017 African Nations Cup first round in Gabon, reuniting them with the man who led them to the title two years ago.
The draw was staged by the Confederation of African Football in the capital of Libreville on Wednesday.
Morocco coach Herve Renard guided the Ivorians to victory in Equatorial Guinea, having also claimed the continental championship with Zambia in 2012.
The Ivorians and Morocco are favourites to advance from Group C but face difficult opposition in Democratic Republic of Congo who have Premier League players Yannick Bolasie of Everton and Hull City's Dieumercik Mbokani.
Hosts Gabon will be confident of advancing after being drawn against Burkina Faso, Cameroon and debutants Guinea-Bissau in Group A.
Egypt are back in the finals for the first time since they won in 2010 and have been drawn in Group D alongside Ghana, Mali and Uganda.
The tournament will be played from Jan. 14-Feb. 5 in Libreville, Franceville, Oyem and Port Gentil.
The finals were under threat earlier this year when political unrest followed disputed presidential elections that were narrowly won by incumbent Ali Bongo.
The situation has since calmed but remains potentially volatile.
Group A: Gabon (seeded), Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Guinea-Bissau
Group B: Algeria (seeded), Tunisia, Senegal, Zimbabwe
Group C: Ivory Coast (seeded), Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Togo
Group D: Ghana (seeded), Mali, Egypt, Uganda