Football: African Cup of Nations 2021 |25 July 2019
Seychelles get South Sudan in qualifying round
Having the dream of making a third appearance in the final of the Indian Ocean Islands Games quashed following a 0-4 semifinal defeat at the hands of Reunion yesterday in Mauritius, the Seychelles football team will now have to battle Mayotte in the third place play-off for the bronze medal.
But as soon as they return home from the Games, they will have to switch their attention to preparing for the African Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers.
The country’s team will have to outplay and outwit South Sudan in the preliminary round to earn a place in the group stage of the African Cup of Nations 2021 qualifiers.
The draw for the 33rd Afcon was made recently by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) in Cairo, Egypt and it will bring together 48 teams. The finals of the 2021 tournament will be held in Cameroon and will also see 24 teams battle for the title.
Winners of the two-legged tie set to be played on October 7 and 15 will join Burkina Faso, Uganda and Malawi in group B of the qualifiers.
The game will be another test for the Seychelles team to try to get into the group stage and move to the finals of the continental showpiece after several futile attempts.
Altogether eight teams determined by the last Fédération internationale de Football Association (Fifa) rankings will be involved in the preliminary round. After that, the winners of the four matches will head into the group phase.
The 48 teams will be divided into 12 groups of four teams each and matches of the group phase will kick off in November 2019 with two rounds.
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.
The winners and runners-up will qualify from each group for the 2021 showpiece in Cameroon except in group F where Cameroon automatically qualify as hosts with the highest placed of the other three teams.
The draw in full:
Liberia v Chad
South Sudan v Seychelles
Mauritius v Sao Tome e Principe
Djibouti v Gambia
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