22 February 2013

Zambia: Chipolopolo Seeded for Afcon 2015

ZAMBIA will be among 11 top seeded teams in next month's draw for the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

The Chipolopolo, who surrendered the AFCON title last month in South Africa, will be placed in Pot One when the draw for the 30th edition of the premier continental competition to be hosted by Morocco are held on March 10 in Marrakech.

Zambia will be eager to qualify to the AFCON finals again to try and regain their lost glory and wrestle the title back to Lusaka.

A total of 44 teams are on the starting line and seeded in four pots of 11 teams each according to their current ranking in Africa.

The draws will be conducted during the Confederation of African Football (CAF) ordinary general assembly.

According to a statement from CAF on Wednesday, Zambia will avoid being drawn against AFCON title holders, Nigeria, 2013 runners-up Burkina Faso, bronze medalists, Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, 2013 hosts South Africa, Cape Verde, DR Congo, Togo and Tunisia.

However, the Chipolopolo could be drawn against fallen African giants like Cameroun and Egypt in the competition whose preliminaries will kick off in June.

Apart from the two former African champions, other teams in Pot Two are Uganda, the team that Zambia denied a return to the AFCON this year, Algeria, 2012 co-hosts, Gabon, Senegal, Guinea, Congo Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone and Libya.

Ethiopia, who made a return to the AFCON for the first time this year since 1982, will be placed in Pot Three with 2010 hosts, Angola, Benin, Niger, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Burundi, Sudan, Liberia and Equatorial Guinea the 2012 co-hosts with Gabon.

However, teams to be placed in the Fourth Pot will be determined after the preliminary round in June.

The qualification procedure will be reverting to its normal format as opposed to the modified one for the just-ended 29th edition, which was altered following the change of the tournament's calendar to odd-numbered years.

The teams will be divided into eleven groups of four with the group winners plus best runners-up qualifying to the 2015 AFCON finals joining hosts Morocco.

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