Tough draw looms for Bafana

2014-12-01 06:00

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Bafana Bafana could find themselves in a group of death when the Confederation of African Football (CAF) conducts the draw for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Wednesday.

Bafana have appeared only once in three previous tournaments – the 2013 edition in South Africa – after failing to qualify for Angola in 2010 and Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012.

The national team did not have enough points to warrant top seeds, despite doing well in the qualifiers, which they finished without losing a game.

South Africa has been seeded in the third pot, alongside Cape Verde, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are many likely scenarios that could turn out for coach Shakes Mashaba’s team during the draw in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

Bafana could find themselves in the same group as west African giants Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon.

The only guarantee is that Bafana will not face two north African teams in the same group because both Algeria and Tunisia are in the same pot, which means Bafana could only play one of them.

Another likely scenario that would leave football lovers on the edge of their seats is that Bafana will meet Cosafa counterpart Zambia in the first round.

The two countries met in the 2006 edition in Egypt, and Chipolopolo won that game.

Equatorial Guinea, who got in through the backdoor after replacing Morocco as hosts, are seeded in pot one together with Ghana, the 2013 finalists Burkina Faso and 2012 champions Zambia, who have always taken part in the tournament.

CAF will launch Marhaba, the official ball of the tournament, on Wednesday in Malabo. Marhaba means “welcome” in Arabic – the tournament was meant to be hosted by Morocco.

Although South Africans will be hoping for a kind draw, all 16 finalists have an equal chance of doing well.

2015 Afcon draw

Who’s in the hat

Pot 1: Equatorial Guinea (hosts), Ghana, Zambia, Burkina Faso

Pot 2: Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia, Mali, Algeria

Pot 3: Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon, DRC

Pot 4: Senegal, Guinea, Congo, Cameroon

Procedure

How the draw works

Each of the four groups at the 2015 finals will contain one team from each of the four pots.

»?According to the regulations of the competition, the host country, Equatorial Guinea, will be the top seeded team in Group A.

»?Normally. the defending champions would be the top seeded team in Group C, but because Nigeria failed to qualify, the 2013 runners up – Burkina Faso – will be the top seeded team in Group C.

»?Following the above rankings, Ghana and Zambia are the teams in Pot 1 and each team, according to the regulations, will be the top seed in either groups B or D, depending on the outcome of the first stage of the draws.

»?Stage 2 of the draw will repartition the four teams in Pot 4 (Senegal, Guinea, Congo and Cameroon) in the four groups, while Stage 3 of the draw will involve the partition of the four teams in Pot 3 (Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon and DRC).

»?Stage 4 is for the partition of the four teams in Pot 2 (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Tunisia and Algeria)

Starafrica.com

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