April 23, 2014

CAF Happy With Morocco’s Progress, Uganda Awaits Draw

Following a seven-day inspection visit in Morocco, the Confederation of African Football said they were happy with the progresses made by the 2015 AFCON host country.afcon

Led by CAF second Vice President, Almamy Kabele Camara, the delegation has inspected the various facilities of the four host cities, Rabat, Marrakech, Agadir and Tangiers, before signing the continental event Framework Agreement with the FRMF, Morocco’s football association.

And FRMF’s newly-elected Chairman, Fouzi Lekjaâ, didn’t hide his satisfaction after the visit.

“We have made an excellent impression. There is today a shared belief that Morocco are capable of hosting the African nations in the best conditions. It is going to be a real continental football celebration,” Lekjaâ told RFI.

Micho chats with Geoffrey Walusimbi who was a doubt for the game during a training session at Namboole last year.
Micho chats with Geoffrey Walusimbi who was a doubt for the game during a training session at Namboole last year.

The African football body will meet again with the Organising Committee in Cairo on Saturday, ahead of the draw of the competition’s qualifiers and Uganda Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic is still pensive on what the waiting has impacted on Uganda’s preparations.

“The draw is coming finally, It’s on this weekend” Micho says.

“Instead of only one opponent, we are doing research on all 27 possible opponents; watching videos of all and we’ll have less than two weeks to be ready for the battle with the drawn country,” he added.

“But we are ready. For now we wait to see who we draw. The most important thing is going past the preliminaries and once we are in the group stage, we are ready to face anyone there and possibly qualify to go to Morocco.”

The qualifying draw was initially supposed to take place in Morocco on March 10 last year during the Caf General Assembly.

But without clear reasons, the executive committee, sitting on March 8 2013, decided that the qualifying draw would instead be held on January 31 this year during Chan in South Africa. Come January 28, the draw date changed again to April 27.

Moving on, two teams from the first round will join the other 26 in the second round and engage in two legs, with 14 advancing to the third round. First legs will be played on May 16, 17, 18 and return legs on May 30, 31 and June 1.

The 14 qualified teams will engage in two legs with seven countries advancing to the group stage where they will meet the other seeded 21. First legs of the Third Round will be played July 18, 19, 20 and return legs on August 1, 2, 3.

The top two teams from the seven groups of four will qualify for Morocco automatically while the third best placed country will progress as best losers. Morocco will complete the cast as hosts.

Uganda Cranes last featured in the AFCON in 1978 and lost to hosts Ghana in the finals.

Other teams in the CECAFA region that have qualified for AFCON in the last ten years include Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Ethiopia.

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