Super Eagles may draw Bafana
Bafana could face the difficult task of being drawn alongside former champions Nigeria, Algeria and Ethiopia when the 16 soccer teams for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations are decided in Durban later today.
Seedings for the draw and its procedure were unveiled last week, with the Super Eagles placed in Pot 2 while Bafana placed in pot one, alongside defending champions Zambia, perennial favourites Ivory Coast and another West African powerhouse, Ghana.
There are four pots in total and, apart from the home nation, their make-up is determined by results from the past three Afcon tournaments, in an attempt to keep the big teams apart until the latter stages.
The hosts are traditionally among the seeds in a bid to allow them to maximise their advantage of playing on home soil.
The draw will take place at the International Convention Centre (ICC), with approximately 2000 guests set to attend. President Jacob Zuma is due to be among them, along with association heads from the other 15 qualified countries. Officials from across the continent have been arriving since the weekend, with Confederation of African Football (CAF) head Issa Hayatou touching down on Sunday.
“The CAF president was very happy with our update and expressed his confidence in our ability to host events,” said Local Organising Committee chairman Mwelo Nonkonyana. “He said he was satisfied with South Africa hosting this event because we will raise the bar for the rest of the continent.”
Pot two is occupied by Mali, Tunisia, Angola and Nigeria; pot three includes Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco; and Niger and Togo, Cape Verde, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia make up pot four.
Bafana will be based in Durban for the January 19 to February 10 tournament, although they will play their opening fixture in Johannesburg, which will also host the final at Soccer City, the venue for the 2010 World Cup decider. The other host cities are Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg.
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