CAN 2021: seven days to finish qualifying

The Malagasy Pascal Razakanantenaina, during the CAN 2019. AFP - JAVIER SORIANO

Text by: David Kalfa Follow

5 mins

The qualifications for the next African Cup of Nations (CAN 2021) are supposed to end between March 24 and 30, 2021. These seven days must allow to complete the qualifiers which began in October 2019 and which were disrupted by the postponement of the CAN in Cameroon and the Covid.

Time is running out because, behind, Africa must continue with the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.


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Covid and restrictions or not, African football is determined to put an end to qualifying for " 

CAN 2021



which has lasted for 18 months.

From March 24 to 30, two days and 46 matches are in fact scheduled across the continent.

The stakes are high because there are still 19 places to take out of the 24 in the final phase.

For now, only Cameroon (host), Algeria (defending champion), Senegal (CAN 2019 finalist), Mali and Tunisia are guaranteed to play the next African Cup of Nations.

Burkina Faso, Guinea and Madagascar next qualified?

However, these five countries could very quickly be joined by three others, as of this Wednesday, March 24.

Guinea will qualify if it beats Mali in group A and it will be the same for Madagascar if the Big Island wins in Ethiopia (group K).

In group B, the Burkinabè also have their destiny in hand.

A victory in Uganda would send them to CAN 2021. A draw would even be enough if Malawians and South Sudanese do not separate, at the same time.

However, beware of Ugandans who are also close to the goal: the Cranes will go to Cameroon if they beat Burkina Faso and at the same time there is a draw between Malawi and South Sudan or if the South Sudanese beat the Malawians.

A safety net in June?

Note that even if this African Cup will take place in January / February 2022, the African Football Confederation (CAF) can hardly afford the luxury of postponing the end of the qualifiers.

Because the selections of the continent will then focus on

qualifying for the 2022 World Cup

, in June, September, October and November 2021.

Fortunately for the African national teams, they have an extended period next June allowing them to play up to four games.

This would allow them to play a CAN 2021 match scheduled for March and postponed, after two qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup.

[1] The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has decided that the competition will continue to be called CAN 2021, despite its postponement to 2022.


Wednesday March 24, 2021 -

Guinea - Mali, in Conakry [group A]

Uganda - Burkina Faso, in Kampala [group B]

South Sudan - Malawi, in Omdurman [group B]

Sao Tome and Principe - Sudan, in Sao Tome [group C]

Rwanda - Mozambique, in Kigali [group F]

Ethiopia - Madagascar, in Bahir Dar [group K]

Thursday 25 March 2021 -

South Africa - Ghana, in Johannesburg [group C]

Gabon - DR Congo, in Franceville [group D]

Gambia - Angola, in Bakau [group D]

Kenya - Egypt, in Nairobi [group G]

Comoros - Togo, in Moroni [group G]

Zambia - Algeria, in Lusaka [group H]

Botswana - Zimbabwe, in Francistown [group H]

Libya - Tunisia, in Cairo [group J]

Equatorial Guinea - Tanzania, in Malabo [group J]

Friday March 26, 2021 -

Mauritania - Morocco, in Nouakchott [group E]

Burundi - Central African Republic, in Bujumbura [group E]

Cape Verde - Cameroon, in Praia [group F]

Congo-B - Senegal, in Brazzaville [group I]

Eswatini - Guinea-Bissau, in Manzini [group I]

Niger - Ivory Coast, in Niamey [group K]

Saturday March 27, 2021 -

Benin - Nigeria, in Porto Novo [group L]

Lesotho - Sierra Leone, in Maseru [group L]

Sunday March 28, 2021 -

Namibia - Guinea, in Windhoek [group A]

Sudan - South Africa, in Omdurman [group C]

Ghana - Sao Tome and Principe, Cape Coast [group C]

Tanzania - Libya, in Dar Es Salaam [group J]

Tunisia - Equatorial Guinea, in Tunis [group J]

Monday March 29, 2021 -

Malawi - Uganda, in Blantyre [group B]

Burkina Faso - South Sudan, in Ouagadougou [group B]

Angola - Gabon, in Luanda [group D]

DR Congo - Gambia, in Kinshasa [group D]

Togo - Kenya, in Lomé [group G]

Egypt - Comoros, Cairo [group G]

Zimbabwe - Zambia, in Harare [group H]

Algeria - Botswana, in Blida [group H]

Tuesday March 30, 2021 -

Central African Republic - Mauritania, in Bangui [group E]

Morocco - Burundi, in Rabat [group E]

Mozambique - Cape Verde, in Maputo [group F]

Cameroon - Rwanda, in Douala [group F]

Guinea-Bissau - Congo, in Bissau [group I]

Senegal - Eswatini, in Thiès [group I]

Madagascar - Niger, in Toamasina [group K]

Ivory Coast - Ethiopia, in Abidjan [group K]

Sierra Leone - Benin, in Freetown [group L]

Nigeria - Lesotho, in Lagos [group L]


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