Uganda Cranes will have to patiently wait till early 2014 to know which countries they will battle against for a slot at the 2015 Africa Nations Cup after the draw was not held on March 10th in Marrakech, Morocco as promised earlier by Caf.
“The draw for the qualifying stages of the Orange AFCON 2015 will take place either in January or in the beginning of February 2014 in South Africa in line with the 3rd African Nations Championship”, part of the statement from the 35th Caf General Assembly read.
Uganda is in pool ‘B’ alongside former champions and record holders Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Senegal, Cameroon, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Uganda, Congo and Central African Republic. This implies that Uganda will not meet teams in this pot.
However, it will meet at least one team from pot ‘A’ which includes current Africa Champions Nigeria, 2013 losing finalist Burkina Faso, last edition’s semi-finalists Ghana and Mali. Others in this pot include Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Zambia and Tunisia.
Uganda’s other likely opponent will come from pot ‘C’ which consists of Ethiopia, Benin, Angola, Niger, Zimbabwe, Equatorial, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Liberia and Sudan.
Pot ‘D’ which is yet to be determined will provide the fourth opponent for Uganda Cranes.
Caf also agreed on the following format was agreed upon:
A preliminary round composed of 10 teams who will each go head-to-head against one another in 2-leg matches. The 5 qualifying teams will then join the other 43 teams to form 12 groups of 4 teams. The winner from each group will qualify for a place in the final tournament in Morocco along with the 3 best second placed teams. For the preliminary round, the CAF will make use of the FIFA rankings. As for the group stages, the CAF rankings shall be used as reference.
Uganda last appeared at Africa’s biggest show piece in 1978 where they lost 2-0 to Ghana in the finals.