2017 AFCON Qualifying Draw: Nigeria Paired With Egypt
The 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying draw took place in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday to determine the groups that will be used to decide the 15 teams that will join hosts Gabon at the next Nations Cup.
The matches to determine the AFCON competitors will begin in two months, with June FIFA international days getting the ball rolling.
The draw took place after Gabon was announced as the host nation for the tournament, and this qualification campaign will see the country participate in the qualifying stages for the AFCON for the first time, but their matches will be considered friendly internationals, and will not count for any points in their group.
A total of 52 teams were divided into 13 groups of four teams each. A four-tiered seeding system was used as a deciding factor, to keep the top ranked sides in Africa from ending up in the same group.
Hosts Gabon have been grouped together with currently champions Cote D’Ivoire, Sudan and Sierra Leone. The Super Eagles of Nigeria find themselves in Group G along with Egypt, Tanzania and Chad. The Black Stars of Ghana have the likes of Mauritius, Rwanda and Mozambique in their group.
Africa’s top ranked team, Algeria, is grouped together with Ethiopia, Lesotho and the Seychelles, while Bafana Bafana of South Africa will have to fight it out for an AFCON ticket against Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania.
The top finisher in each group will qualify for the 2017 competition, as well as the best two runners-up – excluding the group involving the host country, from which only one team will emerge as a qualifier.
FULL 2017 AFCON QUALIFYING DRAW
Group A – Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti
Group B – DR Congo, Angola, Central African Republic, Madagascar
Group C – Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan
Group D – Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros
Group E – Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau
Group F – Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome
Group G – Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad
Group H – Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius
Group I – Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon
Group J – Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles
Group K – Senegal, Niger, Namibia, Burundi
Group L – Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland
Group M – Cameroon, South Africa, Gambia, Mauritania
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