Morocco and South Africa are in a heavyweight group for the Africa Cup of Nations 2023 qualifiers, which begin in June, but they may have one less team to contend with on their journey to the finals in the Ivory Coast.
Morocco is the group’s top seed, with Bafana Bafana second, but they’ve been matched with Liberia and Zimbabwe, both of which have been suspended by Fifa and are unlikely to participate.
The Confederation of African Football placed Kenya and Zimbabwe in the draw in case their suspensions are removed before the qualifications begin in June.
However, it appears doubtful, especially for Zimbabwe, where sports minister Kirsty Coventry stated last week that there were no intentions to reinstate the defunct Zimbabwe Football Association’s authority.
Fifa will only restore Zimbabwe’s suspension if the government stops interfering, but if there is no agreement, Zimbabwe would most likely lose out and South Africa’s group will be reduced to three countries, with the top two progressing to the finals.
Kenya was placed in Group C alongside Burundi, Cameroon, and Namibia, and is anticipated to be eliminated, leaving three nations to compete for two spots.
Hosts Senegal appeared to have had a good draw in Group L, but Egypt, who finished second in the Cameroon finals in February, will also be there.
THE DRAW FOR THE 2023 AFRICA CUP OF NATIONS QUALIFYING GROUPS
|Group A||Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe or Mauritius|
|Group B||Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini|
|Group C||Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi|
|Group D||Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia|
|Group E||Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic|
|Group F||Algeria, Uganda, Niger, Tanzania|
|Group G||Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan|
|Group H||Ivory Coast (hosts), Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho|
|Group I||Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan|
|Group J||Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana|
|Group K||Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia|
|Group L||Senegal (holders), Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda|