Afcon 2021 Qualifiers: 48 nations to battle for spot at biennial showpiece

The draw for Afcon 2021 qualifiers was made in Cairo on Thursday with host nation, Cameroon, included

The draw for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers was made in Cairo on Thursday and will commence in October 2019.

The 33rd edition of the showpiece is billed to take place in Cameroon in the summer of 2021.

The 48 nations, including hosts Cameroon, have been split into 12 groups consisting of four teams, with two teams from each group progressing to the finals.

While the Indomitable Lions are guaranteed a place in the biennial competition, they will feature in the qualifiers and have been drawn in Group F alongside Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda.

Egypt, hosts of the 2019 showpiece and eight-time champions, were drawn in Group G and will slug it out with Kenya, Togo and Comoros.

This year’s finalists, Algeria and Senegal have been pitted in Group H and I, respectively. The former will play Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, while Aliou Cisse’s troops will slug it out with Congo, Guinea Bissau and Swaziland.

Group C is headlined by Ghana and South Africa, with the pair set to compete with Sudan and one of Mauritius and Sao Tome and Principe.

After disappointing as tournament favourites in Egypt, Morocco will pick themselves up for the qualifiers as they battle Mauritania, Central African Republic and Burundi in Group E.

Three-time African champions, Nigeria, will face West African neighbours Benin in Group L, as well as Sierra Leone and Lesotho.

Groups J and K are headlined by Tunisia and Ivory Coast. The Eagles of Carthage will have to navigate ties against Libya, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, while the Elephants will play Niger, Ethiopia and Madagascar – who impressed in their first outing at the showpiece in Egypt.

Mali, Burkina Faso and DR Congo are the top seeds in  Groups A, B and D respectively. The trio will encounter Guinea, Uganda and Gabon in their quest to make the final 24 teams at the finals.

Preliminary Round:
Liberia vs Chad 
South Sudan vs Seychelles 
Mauritius vs Sao Tome and Principe 
Djibouti vs Gambia

First, second legs: October 7-15

The Full Draw:

Group A: Mali, Guinea, Namibia and the winner between Liberia and Chad.

Group B: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, and the winner between South Sudan and Seychelles.

Group C: Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, and Winner between Mauritius and Sao Tome and Principe.

Group D: DR Congo, Angola, Gabon and the winner between the Gambia and Djibouti.

Group E: Morocco, Mauritania, the Central African Republic and Burundi.

Group F: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda.

Group G: Egypt, Kenya, Togo and Comoros

Group H: Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Group I: Senegal, Congo, Guinea Bissau and Swaziland.

Group J: Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea.

Group K: Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia.

Group L: Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone and Lesotho.