The Ivory Coast national team won the African Cup, which was held on its home soil (French)

The draw for the preliminary round of the 2025 African Cup of Nations qualifiers in Morocco was held in Cairo today, Tuesday, about one week after the end of the last tournament hosted by Ivory Coast, which won the title.

8 teams (those with the lowest rankings on the continent) will play 4 matches of two back-and-forth matches in the period from 20 to 26 next March.

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Somalia was the lowest ranked and will face Eswatini, while Sao Tome and Principe will play against South Sudan.

The rest of the matches will bring together Chad and Mauritius, while Djibouti will play Liberia.

Both Liberia and Mauritius previously qualified for the finals.

Results 🟰 𝗗𝗢𝗡𝗘 ✍️

Here's how it stands out after the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2025 preliminary round draw! ✔️ #TotalEnergiesAFCON

— CAF (@CAF_Online) February 20, 2024

Africa Cup qualifiers system

The four winners of the preliminary round matches qualify for the group stage of the qualifiers, joining 44 other countries.

48 teams will be divided into 12 groups, each containing 4 teams, and the first and second from each group will qualify for the finals scheduled in Morocco.

Morocco will also participate in the qualifiers, although it automatically qualifies as the host of the tournament, and therefore only one other team from its group will qualify.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has not yet announced the date of the draw for the group stage or finals, which Morocco wants to host in mid-2025, which likely conflicts with the newly expanded Club World Cup in the United States.

The African Cup of Nations qualifiers are scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The matches will be held during the three international breaks in September, October and November, with two rounds of matches in each period.

Source: Reuters