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Nigeria draws Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome and Mauritius in Group A

By Christian Okpara
20 April 2022   |   3:30 am
Nigeria was yesterday, drawn alongside Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and the winner of the play-off between Sao Tome & Principe and Mauritius in Group A of the Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Africa ...

Super Eagles recently during training

Nigeria was yesterday, drawn alongside Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau and the winner of the play-off between Sao Tome & Principe and Mauritius in Group A of the Cote d’Ivoire 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.

In the draw conducted by Nigeria’s Samson Adamu, who was assisted by former South Africa Captain, Lukas Radebe and Cote d’Ivoire’s legend, Salomon Kalou inside SuperSport studios in Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa, Nigeria was picked to head the first of the 12 groups from which 24 teams will qualify for next year’s championship.

The qualifying series for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) will kick off in June 2022, according to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and end in March 2023.

Defending champions, Senegal, are in Group L, where they will battle with Benin, Mozambique and Rwanda.

Host, Côte d’Ivoire, are in Group H with Zambia, Comoros and Lesotho. While two teams each will qualify in the other groups, only one team will qualify from Group H, alongside the host.

Comoros, who was one of the surprise packages at the delayed 2021 showpiece in Cameroon, is seeking a second consecutive qualification.

Losing finalists from the 2021 showpiece, Egypt, are in Group D. They are drawn with Guinea, Malawi and Ethiopia.

There will be several derbies as well with East African rivals Uganda and Tanzania drawn together again, and they will face off in Group F together with 2019 champions Algeria and Niger.

Uganda and Tanzania faced off in the qualifiers for the 2019 showpiece where they drew 0-0 in the first leg in Kampala and Tanzania won 3-0 in Dar es Salaam.

Tanzania also faced Algeria at the subsequent tournament in Egypt, where they suffered a 3-0 defeat.

Hugo Broos’ men will lock horns with Morocco, Zimbabwe and Liberia in Group K.

The Groups
Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Sao Tome & Principe/Mauritius
Group B: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini
Group C: Cameroun, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi
Group D: Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia
Group E: Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic
Group F: Algeria, Uganda, Niger Republic, Tanzania
Group G: Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan
Group H: Cote d’Ivoire (Hosts), Zambia, Comoros Island, Lesotho
Group I: DR Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan
Group J: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana
Group K: Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia
Group L: Senegal, Benin Republic, Mozambique, Rwanda