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Football

Profiling the AFCON teams: Burundi

Burundi will be making their debut at the 2019 AFCON. (PHOTOS/AGENCIES)

Burundi will be featuring in their first Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.  They are one of three nations that will be making their debut at this year’s tournament.

In the 2019 edition, Burundi is in Group B alongside Nigeria, Guinea and Madagascar.

Burundi did not enter into qualification for the Africa cup of nations tournaments between 1957 to 1974. Their first attempt came in the 1796 edition in Ethiopia which did not turn out well as they were eliminated at the first round.

The Chayfs decided to stay away from the editions between 1978 and 1992.

Their return to the qualifiers was however short once again in 94 and again opted out for the next two editions.

Burundi took part in the qualifiers for the 2000-2017 AFCOn editions but always fell short until 2019.

In qualification for Egypt 2019, Burundi was placed in Group C alongside Mali, Gabon and South Sudan.

Burundi finished second in Group C of the qualifiers.

They finished the first round second in the group after two draws and one victory. The Chayfs ha defeated South Sudan 3-0 at home and then drawn with both Gabon and Mali.

In the second round, Burundi once again managed similar results, drawing with Mali and Gabon and again defeating South Sudan.

The results meant they finished second in Group C, 4 points behind leaders Mali.

Coach

Olivier Niyungeko

Niyungeko is a Burundian former footballer and coach who has managed Burundi since 2016.

Niyungeko has been the head coah of Burundi since 2016.

He has previously managed two clubs, Lydia Ludic and Flambeau de IEst, lading the latter to the Burundi Premier League in 2013, three years after foundation.

Niyungeko replaced Ahcene Ait-Abdelmalek as Burundi head coach.

Star Player

Fiston Abdul Razak

Fiston is a 25-year-old striker who plays Algerian giants JS Kabylie. He has featured for a host of clubs on the African continent including Mamelodi Sundowns and Bloemfontein Celtic.

In his career, he has managed over 50 club-goals. For Burundi, he has scored 17 goals in 37matches with six of them coming in the AFCON 2019 qualifiers.

Fiston ended the 2019 AFCON qualifiers with 6 goals.

Projection: Group Stages

Guinea Fixtures at AFCON 2019

-Nigeria vs Burundi, 22nd June

-Madagascar vs Burundi, 27th June

-Burundi vs Guinea, 30th June

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