Uganda coach Micho Sredojevic insists today’s draw for the Final Round of Qualifiers of the Orange AFCON Morocco 2015 takes place at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo might have been inconvenient but is ready to battle any opponent.
“The most important thing is going past the preliminaries and once we are in the groups stages, we are ready to face anyone,” Micho said.
“We have no choice but play whatever opponent we are drawn against. I have respect for all teams in the draw but as a team, we’re ready to take on anyone pitted against us,” the Serb added.
“Just imagine you have to play an opponent where it’s difficult to travel due to logistics and you only have two weeks to prepare,” a bemused Micho said.
The Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015 will be played from 17th January through 8th February 2015.
The distribution of groups between the host cities of the tournament was also formalized. Group A will be based in Marrakech, the city that will host the opening match. Group B will be based in Agadir. Group C will be in Rabat which will also host the final match of the tournament while Group D will be Tangier.
The final draw for the 30th edition of AFCON will be held in Rabat on 26 November 2014.
The adjustment in dates has been necessitated by the decision of the Organizing Committee to play the semi-finals on separate dates. Previously, the semi-finals have been played on one date. At Orange AFCON Morocco 2015, the semi-finals will be played on 4th February and 5th February 2015.
Further, Day One which will have the Opening Ceremony in Marrakech will only have one fixture – the Opening Match of Group A. The second fixture of Group A will be played on 18th January which will also have two matches of Group B.
How Qualifying works
The Orange Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers Morocco2015 will be made up of seven groups of four teams who contest home and away fixtures. The seven group winners, seven group runners-up and the best third-placed side will qualify directly for the final tournament. Host Morocco is automatically qualified.
Under the draw procedure, 28 teams will be divided into 4 groups, each pot containing 7 teams based on the CAF classification.
Pot 1: Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, Tunisia
Pot 2: Algeria, Angola, Cap Verde, Togo, Egypt, South Africa, Cameroun
Pot 3: RD Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Niger, Guinea, Senegal, Soudan
Pot 4: The Seven yet to be decided by the preliminary round matches
(Teams in the same pot cannot be paired against each other)
Matches to decide the final 7 for Pot 4
A total of 28 teams will be divided into two pots each containing 14 teams based on CAF classification.
The 14 teams of the Level 1 namely Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Botswana, Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique, Benin, Sierra Leone, Congo, Central Africa Republic, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Liberia and Gambia will be in Pot A.
The 14 teams of Level 2 namely Rwanda, Tanzania, Namibia, Burundi, Lesotho, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Chad, Sao Tome, Seychelles, Comoros, Swaziland, South Sudan and Mauritania will be in Pot B.
Pot C will be empty.
Step 1: A draw made to pick one team from Pot A
Step 2: A draw made to pick one team from Pot B, the team drawn from Pot A will against the team drawn from Pot B
Step 3: The two picked balls from step 1 and 2 will be placed together in Pot C and the first one picked will play the 1st match at home.
This operation will be repeated 14 times to determine the 28 matches.
The 14 winners will play against each other to determine the final seven who will go into the final draw (the forth pot of 7 teams).
Seven of the teams going into the draw to be placed who will be placed in Pot 1 are seeded. These are: Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Tunisia
The Final Tournament
CAN Morocco 2015
The final tournament of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015 will be played from 17th January through 8th February 2015.
The Opening Ceremony in Marrakech will only have one fixture – the Opening Match of Group A. The second fixture of Group A will be played on 18th January which will also have two matches of Group B.