The West Africa Football Union (WAFU A and B) on Wednesday 29 May held the draw for this year's WAFU Cup of Nations in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
The colourful ceremony was attended by representatives of the 16 participating countries for the two weeks tournament which will be played at the refurbished Stade Lat Dior in Thiés (90 kms from Dakar) from 28 September to 12 October.
The format of the tournament been amended from the first edition which was a straight knock out but this time teams will at least play two matches at the tournament.
The winners of the first phrase will qualify for the tournament proper whiles the losing sides will battles for the plate competition.
The first match pairs hosts Senegal against their neighbors Guinea Bissau whiles Gambia renew their rivalry against Ghana at this tournament.
Twice African footballer of year El Hadji Diouf is one of many legends for the tournament organised by WAFU in collaboration with Fox Sports.
"It will not be a party of pleasure, it will be difficult but we must not falter in this competition which is played at home" said the former Teranga Lions captain.
His former club and international teammate, Salif Diao, added: "It would be nice to start stuffing our trophy cupboard with this competition."
And besides the Senegal-Guinea Bissau match, the draw of the preliminaries gave the following result: Mali-Niger, Côte d'Ivoire-Cape Verde, Burkina Faso-Mauritania, Nigeria-Togo, Ghana-Gambia, Guinea-Benin and Morocco-Liberia.
The Kingdom of Morocco are invited to the tournament following the absence of Sierra Leone due to their FIFA ban for government interference.
The eight winners of the preliminaries will compete for the main competition while the eight others will be entitled to a new chance in the form of play-off plate competition.
"The teams in the tournament will play at least two games during the tournament," said WAFU Zone A president Augustin Senghor.
"In any case, there will be 22 games between the 16 teams present on a single stadium, the Lat Dior Thies" said WAFU Zone A Secretary General Jammeh El Bojang.
Each participating team will receive $ 6000 as participatory fees while the winner of the tournament pockets $ 100,000.
The winner of the plate competition will receive $75, 000.
"This formula won the support of the Organizing Committee to allow the show and we must as a host country succeed in terms of organization and participation," added Augustin Senghor.
The first edition was hosted and won by Ghana in September 2017.