Afcon 2023: Senegal and Egypt discover qualifying opponents

1 month ago 356
Senegal celebrate winning the 2021 Africa Cup of NationsSenegal became African champions for the first time this year, beating Egypt on penalties in the final

Africa Cup of Nations holders Senegal will face Benin, Mozambique and Rwanda in qualifying for the 2023 Nations Cup in Ivory Coast.

Mohamed Salah's Egypt, who are record seven-time Nations Cup winners, have been drawn alongside Guinea, Malawi and Ethiopia.

None of Senegal's three opponents in Group L reached this year's finals in Cameroon, but the Pharaohs face a trickier task in Group D.

Guinea and Malawi both progressed to the last 16 earlier this year while Ethiopia suffered a group-stage exit.

Forty eight countries have been split into 12 groups of four, with the top two in each group reaching the finals.

However, hosts Ivory Coast are guaranteed a spot at the tournament next year, so whichever of their opponents Zambia, Comoros and Lesotho finishes highest in Group H will qualify.

Meanwhile, Kenya and Zimbabwe were included in the draw despite being banned from international football by world governing body Fifa.

Should either country fail to have their suspension lifted two weeks before qualifiers begin, then they will be eliminated and their respective groups will be composed of just three teams.

Elsewhere, Sao Tome e Principe and Mauritius are awaiting the outcome of a Confederation of African Football (Caf) disciplinary process to see which country will take the fourth spot in Group A.

Sao Tome e Principe won their preliminary qualifying tie 4-3 on aggregate but could yet miss out on a place in the group stage proper.

Qualifying is set to begin with two matches between 30 May and 14 June. Two more fixtures will follow in September, with the final two rounds in March next year.

Caf will announce the dates and schedule of fixtures in due course.

The 2023 Nations Cup is set to be held in Ivory Coast in June and July next year.

Africa Cup of Nations 2023 qualifying groups

Group A

  • Nigeria
  • Sierra Leone
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Sao Tome e Principe or Mauritius

Group B

  • Burkina Faso
  • Cape Verde
  • Togo
  • Eswatini

Group C

  • Cameroon
  • Kenya
  • Namibia
  • Burundi

Group D

  • Egypt
  • Guinea
  • Malawi
  • Ethiopia

Group E

  • Ghana
  • Madagascar
  • Angola
  • Central African Republic

Group F

  • Algeria
  • Uganda
  • Niger
  • Tanzania

Group G

  • Mali
  • Congo
  • The Gambia
  • South Sudan

Group H

  • Ivory Coast (hosts)
  • Zambia
  • Comoros
  • Lesotho

Group I

  • DR Congo
  • Gabon
  • Mauritania
  • Sudan

Group J

  • Tunisia
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Libya
  • Botswana

Group K

  • Morocco
  • South Africa
  • Zimbabwe
  • Liberia

Group L

  • Senegal
  • Benin
  • Mozambique
  • Rwanda
Source Article