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Date: 26 September 2017

  African - Soccer

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News Headlines

AFCON 2013 qualifiers start in Jan 2012

[Posted 12 Oct 2011]
[By Beezsports Chief Editor]
AFCON 2013  qualifiers start in Jan 2012

Confederation of African Football switched the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers from even numbers to odd numbers with effect from 2013, and decided in September 2010 that the qualifiers for 2013 will begin in January 2012, and will run parallel to the 2012 finals.

In a CAF Executive meeting between 14 and 23 September in 2010, the continental football chiefs decided that those nations who did not quaify for the finals will be involved in a first round of qualifiers designed to eliminate about 15 nations.

CAF worked on assumption that 30 teams who did not make it to the finals to be held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon from January 2012, will have to be involved in direct elimination battles, to progress to the second round.

The 15 qualifiers from the first round of qualifiers, will battle for places at the 2013 Afcon finals to be now hosted by South Africa, with 15 others who participate at the 2012 finals. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon will also have to compete against each other to eliminate one of the teams.

In other words, most of the teams who recently qualified for the 2012 finals received a bye into the second round of qualifiers.

The 30 teams who will battle in the second round will directly eliminate each other to give a total of 15 teams who will qualify for the 2013 finals to be played in South Africa, who replaced Libya as hosts last month. The hosts automatically qualify for the finals.

CAF has not clarified the method used to pair the teams who will battle it out in the first round. The fairest criteria would be that the 15 higher ranked teams should be placed in Pool 1, while the lower ranked teams are placed in Pool 2 as is the practice in the world of soccer.

Notables absentees at the 2012 finals are Egypt, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa (2013 hosts), Algeria, Zimbabwe and Togo.

There are also teams who started the 2012 Afcon qualifiers brightly, and appeared on course to win their first ever qualification, or a qualification in a long time like Malawi, Central African Republic, Cape Verde, Uganda and Sierra Leone who are itching for a chance to prove that they have what it takes to make it to the league of big boys in Africa.

Of all those who were disappointed, Uganda must be the worst hurt. After leading the race since the beginning, to fail only at the last hurdle was really heart breaking for the East Africans.

The first round and second round of qualifiers for 2013 present a chance for those who feel that fate was against them in the race ofr 2012 finals.  

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