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Sports News of Friday, 12 April 2019


AFCON 2019: How draw will be conducted

The Africa Cup of Nations draw takes place on Friday (18:00 GMT), with the 24 participating teams waiting to discover their countries' fate.

But first there will be the process on how the draw will be conducted and it started with the seeding of the teams for the competition.

The draw to be held in Cairo will be based on the April Fifa rankings which, ordinarily, would have placed Cameroon (ranked 54) and Egypt (57) among the second seeds.

But it is a worldwide football tradition that hosts and title-holders are among the top seeds and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee followed suit.

Teams have been separated into four seeding pots based on the Fifa world rankings released on 4 April.

The other four top seeds are 2002 runners-up Senegal and three former champions, Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco.

Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana - who lost out on top seedings because of Egypt and Cameroon - Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Algeria are the second seeds.

DR Congo (when called Zaire), Ghana, Ivory Coast and Algeria have won the competition and Mali and Guinea came agonisingly close, finishing runners-up.

South Africa are the lone former champions among the third seeds, which also include Uganda, Benin, Mauritania, Madagascar and Kenya.

Uganda were runners-up to hosts Ghana in 1978, then failed to qualify for 39 years before securing a place at the 2017 Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Zimbabwe, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Tanzania and Burundi are the fourth seeds and several appear capable of causing upsets, particularly the Zimbabweans.

They will then be drawn into six groups of four.

AFCON2019 Draw:
Pot 1 : Egypt; Cameroon; Senegal; Tunisia; Nigeria; Morocco

Pot 2 : DRC; Ghana; Mali; Cote D'Ivoire; Guinea; Algeria

Pot 3 : South Africa; Uganda; Benin; Mauritania; Madagascar; Kenya

Pot 4 : Zimbabwe; Namibia; Guinea-Bissau; Angola; Burundi; Tanzania

The top two teams from each group, and four best third-placed teams, go into the quarter-finals.

The six group winners and six runners-up automatically qualify for the knockout second round and will be joined by the four best third-placed teams.

After the eight second-round fixtures, there will be the quarter-finals, semi-finals, a third-place play-off and the final.

This will be the first 24-team Cup of Nations - up from 16 - and the timing has changed from January/February to June/July to avoid European club-versus-country clashes.