Don’t rest on your laurels

2011-08-06 19:07

Botswana, ranked number 71 by the world football governing body Fifa, are the second highest-ranked nation in ­Bafana Bafana’s group for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

South Africa are ranked 49th and were placed in Group A with Botswana, Central African ­Republic and the winner of the Somalia-Ethiopia clash which should make it easy for them (SA) to go through.

Bafana must top the group in order to proceed to the final qualifying stage where a draw will split the 10 group winners into five two-leg ties.

The aggregate winners will then qualify for the ­finals.

However, coach Pitso ­Mosimane, who attended last week’s draw in Rio de Janeiro, has cautioned that the Zebras, who recently became the first nation to qualify for the ­Afcon finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, should not be taken lightly.

Fifty-two out of the 53 national associations affiliated to CAF have entered the qualifying stage to ­determine the continent’s five slots for the World Cup.

The format will begin with a first round of 12 two-legged knock-out ties that will run from November 11 to 15.

Somalia and Ethiopia will fight it out to qualify for Group A proper while other low-ranked ­nations will also be involved in preliminary rounds.

The 12 Group winners will then join the remaining 28 CAF contestants in the second round ­consisting of 10 groups of 4.

The winners – from matches that will be held between June 2012 and September 2013 – will advance to a third round of five two-legged knock-out ties from October to November 2013.

The winners will represent ­Africa at the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals.

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