As Uganda failed to make it to the African cup of Nations 2013, great news is that a member of the CECAFA region Ethiopia will be making it to represent the region as we do prepare our selves for the up coming campaigns. Ethiopia had also taken a period of 31 years without reaching the bliss point and Sunday’s win over Sudan consolidated their place in South Africa.
The tournament will commence on January 19 to February 10, South Africa will avoid defending champions Zambia, Ghana and Ivory Coast who are all among the top-seeded teams as revealed by the Confederations of African Football. South Africa, Ghana, Zambia and Ivory Coast, who seem to have been granted qualification despite their abandoned match following riots against Senegal in Dakar on Saturday, are all in Pot 1.
However, a nightmare Group C for Zambia could still be on the cards with Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco and Togo spread across Pot 2 to 4. Teams in the same pot cannot be drawn against each other.
Qualification for the upcoming tournament came to a dramatic end at the weekend when minnows Cape Verde beat Cameroon 3-2 on aggregate to clinch their participation in next year’s tournament. It will be their maiden AFCON, making them the only debutants in the tourney.
Samuel Eto’o, the Cameroon skipper who returned to the side after boycotting the first leg, lashed out at the football federation for the Indomitable Lions’ poor preparation for the qualifiers.
Another surprise this weekend was the reappearance of Ethiopia to the big stage. The Black Lions are back after a 30-year absence after their victory over Sudan – a 5-5 aggregate score that saw them qualify because of the away goal rule.
Zambia, as holders, have already been placed in Group C and will find out their opposition on 24th October 2012 when the draw for the final tournament takes places in Durban.
Group C matches will be played at Mbombela Staduin in Nelspruit. Zambia’s first match will be played on 21st January 2013. Countries that had taken long minus participating include, Ethoipia who had taken 31 years and Cape Verde (its first time in Africa cup since they joined Fifa in 1986). Cape Verde ejected the bigger opponents in Africa who have 4 trophies on their shoulders.
2013 AFCON seeding:
Pot 1: South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast
Pot 2: Mali, Tunisia, Angola, Nigeria
Pot 3: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Niger
Pot 4: Togo, Cape Verde Islands, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia.