Qualifying draw for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations is made

The Africa Cup of Nations trophy
The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations will be held in Cameroon

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw was made in Cairo on Thursday, ahead of the tournament to be played in Cameroon.

Algeria, who meet Senegal on Friday in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations final in Cairo, must travel virtually the length of the continent for all their matches in the 2021 qualifying campaign.

The Desert Foxes were drawn to play in Group H alongside three southern African teams, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Senegal, Algeria's opponents in Friday's final, will feature in Group I against Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau and eSwatini.

Madagascar, whose qualification for the quarter-finals was one of the shocks of the 2019 Cup of Nations, were put in Group K with the Ivory Coast, Niger and Ethiopia.

Nigeria, who beat Tunisia 1-0 on Wednesday in the third place play-off, will meet fellow west African nations Benin and Sierra Leone plus Lesotho.

Ghana and South Africa are in Group C and both should qualify at the expense of Sudan and the winners of a preliminary round tie between Mauritius and Sao Tome e Principe.

Although automatic qualifiers as hosts, Cameroon will take part to gain competitive match practice, leaving Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda to contest the other Group F place.

Uganda, the strongest of the east African nations at the 2019 tournament, are with Burkina Faso, Malawi and South Sudan or the Seychelles in Group B.

The four preliminary ties will be played in October and the group phase kicks off the following month with two rounds.

The winners and runners-up will qualify from each group except in Group F where Cameroon automatically qualify as hosts with the highest placed of the other three teams.

Draw in full:

Preliminary round:

Liberia v Chad

South Sudan v Seychelles

Mauritius v Sao Tome e Principe

Djibouti v Gambia

Groups:

A: Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/Chad

B: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles

C: Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome

D: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti/Gambia

E: Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi

F: Cameroon (hosts), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda

G: Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros

H: Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana

I: Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)

J: Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea

K: Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia

L: Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho

Did not enter: Eritrea, Somalia

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