Bafana Bafana

Bafana Bafana's road to Afcon made a lot easier as Zimbabwe booted out of qualifiers

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Hugo Broos (Gallo Images)
Hugo Broos (Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana's road to Afcon 2023 has been made a lot easier after Zimbabwe were kicked out of qualifying for the continental showpiece on Monday night.

The news was confirmed by CAF in a statement, who said that "as a consequence of having failed to have their suspensions by FIFA set aside, CAF has confirmed that both Kenya and Zimbabwe will not participate in the Africa Cup of Nations Cote d’Ivoire 2023 qualifiers."

Both Zimbabwe and Kenya had been suspended by FIFA due to political interference in the running of their football, and that ban has been upheld by CAF. 

It means that Bafana - the 1996 Afcon champions who did not qualify for the 2021 edition that was played earlier this year as a result of Covid-19 - now have one less hurdle to overcome in their efforts to get to Ivory Coast next year. 

With Zimbabwe out, Group K of qualifiers now consists of South Africa, Liberia and Morocco and both the winner and runner-up after home and away fixtures will qualify for Afcon 2023. 

Liberia are ranked 144th in the world, Morocco 24th and South Africa 68th. 

Qualifiers start on 1 June.

Qualifying groups:

Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome

Group B: Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini, Burkina Faso

Group C: Namibia, Burundi, Cameroon

Group D: Ethiopia, Malawi, Guinea, Egypt

Group E: Angola, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Ghana

Group F: Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Algeria

Group G: The Gambia, Congo, South Sudan, Mali

Group H: Lesotho, Comoros, Zambia, Ivory Coast

Group I: Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan, DR Congo

Group J: Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Tunisia

Group K: Liberia, South Africa, Morocco

Group L: Mozambique, Rwanda, Benin, Senegal

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