The draw for the 2012 Orange Africa Cup of Nations which will be staged by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon was conducted in Lubumbashi today by the Confederation for African Football (CAF).
Forty-four teams will take part in the qualifying series that begins in September. But only 14 will book a berth to the continental showpiece.
The sides have been drawn into eleven groups of four and will each play each other in a round-robin format. The winners of each group will qualify automatically for what will be the 28th edition of the AFCON while the three best second placed teams will also make it. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon qualify automatically as co-hosts. The groups in full:
Group 1: Mali, Cape Verde, Zimbabwe, Liberia
Group 2: Nigeria, Guinea, Ethiopia, Madagascar
Group 3: Zambia, Mozambique, Libya, Comoros
Group 4: Algeria, Morocco, Tanzania, Central Africa Republic
Group 5: Cameroon, Senegal, Congo DR, Mauritius
Group 6: Burkina Faso Gambia Namibia Mauritania
Group 7: Egypt, South Africa, Sierra Leone, Niger
Group 8: Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Rwanda, Burundi
Group 9: Ghana, Congo, Sudan, Swaziland
Group 10: Angola, Uganda, Kenya, Guinea-Bissau
Group 11: Tunisia, Malawi, Chad, Botswana
I'm sure you noticed there is no Togo. That's because the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will soon come to a (positive, I hope) decision on whether it will upheld CAF’s ban of Togo from the next two editions of the competition. If CAS should rule in Togo’s favour in the case, CAF has confirmed that there is no material obstacle for a new draw to take place before qualifying gets underway.