Confederation of African football (Caf) has explained the procedure for drawing the group stages of TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023.
With just over 24 hours to the draw which is scheduled to take place in the studios of SuperSport in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday at 17h30 GMT, all teams are eagerly waiting to know their opponents.
The 48 countries qualified to participate in the second round of the qualifiers have seeded into four pots based on the official FIFA ranking released on 31 March, 2022.
The teams will then be drawn into 12 groups of four teams (Group A to L) with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the tournament to be played in the West African country.
Despite having a place in the finals already secured by virtue of being hosts, Cote d’Ivoire will also participate in the draw. This means only one other team from their group will qualify for the competition.
Shockingly though, the Continental soccer governing body has included Kenya and Zimbabwe who were suspended by FIFA from all football activities globally.
CAF however explained that “if the suspension is not lifted two weeks before their first match-day of the qualifiers, both associations will be considered as losers and eliminated from the competition.”
Consequently, their groups will be composed of three teams with the first and runner-up teams of those groups qualifying to the final tournament.
“As a result of that decision, Kenya and Zimbabwe cannot be drawn in the same group in order to avoid having one group with only two teams in case the suspension on both associations is not lifted,” CAF said in a statement on Monday.
In the draw to be conducted by the CAF Director of Competitions Samson Adamu and assisted by African football legends Lucas Radebe of South Africa and Ivorian Solomon Kalou, the first ball will be drawn from Pot 4 and will go to position A4.
The procedure will be repeated for the remaining teams of Pot 4 who will go to positions B4, C4, D4, E4, F4, G4, H4, I4, J4,K4 & L4 according to the draw order.
The same procedure as above will be repeated for Pot 3, Pot 2 and finally Pot 1.
Without revealing a specific date, CAF said the qualifiers will start in June 2022.