CAF explains 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification draw procedure

Published on: 19 April 2022

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has explained the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification draw procedure with the group stages draw looming.

48 African countries will be aiming to qualify for the 34th edition of the biennial Africa showpiece in an attempt to dethrone Aliou Cisse’s Lions of Teranga as continental kings.

Black Stars of Ghana have been placed in Pot 1 ahead of the upcoming draw.

Ghana are in Pot 1 together with host Cote D’Ivoire, African Champions Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, DR. Congo, Burkina Faso, Mali, host Cote D’Ivoire, Algeria, Tunisia and Cameroon.

The four-time African champion exited the competition in Cameroon at the group stages - the first time Ghana have gone out in the group stages since 2006 in Egypt.

Black Stars suffered a 3-2 to the Comoros Islands to finish bottom of their opening round group and this led to the sacking of Milovan Rajevac.

Ghana suffered an opening group match defeat to the Atlas Lions of Morocco, drew 1-1 with Gabon in their second group game.

Below is the draw procedure:

"The teams will then be drawn into 12 groups of four teams (Group A to L) with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the tournament to be played in the West African country."

"Hosts Cote d’Ivoire will also participate in the draw even though they have already secured the place in the tournament which means only one other team from their group will qualify for the competition.

"Kenya and Zimbabwe, who have been suspended by FIFA from all football activities globally, will also be included in the draw despite their temporary bans.

"However, if the suspension is not lifted two weeks before their first matchday of the qualifiers, both associations will be considered as losers and eliminated from the competition.

"Consequently, their groups will be composed of three teams with the first and runner-up teams of those groups qualifying to the final tournament.

"As a result of that decision, Kenya and Zimbabwe cannot be drawn in the same group in order to avoid having one group with only two teams in case the suspension on both associations is not lifted.

"In the draw to be conducted by the CAF Director of Competitions Samson Adamu and assisted by African football legends Lucas Radebe of South Africa and Ivorian Solomon Kalou, the first ball will be drawn from Pot 4 and will go to position A4.

"The procedure will be repeated for the remaining teams of Pot 4 who will go to positions B4, C4, D4, E4, F4, G4, H4, I4, J4,K4 & L4 according to the draw order.

"The same procedure as above will be repeated for Pot 3, Pot 2 and finally Pot 1."

Senegal are the defending champions after beating Egypt on penalties in the 2021 tournament in Cameroon.

Cote d'Ivoire are scheduled to host the tournament from June 23 to July 23, 2023.