Bafana Bafana to kick off AFCON 2023 qualifiers in Morocco

Bafana Bafana to kick off AFCON 2023 qualifiers in Morocco

Bafana Bafana will kick off their bid to qualify for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament with a tough trip to Morocco.

South Africa were drawn in Group K in the draw earlier this week, alongside the North African giants, neighbours Zimbabwe and little-known Liberia.

Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for the most recent AFCON tournament in Cameroon and will be looking to make no mistake this time around.

There is still some uncertainty as to whether Zimbabwe will be permitted to take part in the qualifiers, but that issue will be resolved before Matchday 1 scheduled for 30 May 2022.

Following their trip to Morocco, Bafana Bafana will play Zimbabwe and Liberia at home on matchdays 2 and 3, respectively.

They will then be away against Liberia, at home to Morocco and will conclude their hopefully successful AFCON 2023 campaign away against Zimbabwe.

Dates, venues and kick-off times for all matches will be announced in due course.

AFCON 2023 GROUPS

Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe or Mauritius

Group B: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini

Group C: Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi

Group D: Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia

Group E: Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic

Group F: Algeria, Uganda, Niger, Tanzania

Group G: Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan

Group H: Ivory Coast (hosts), Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho

Group I: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan

Group J: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana

Group K: Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia

Group L: Senegal (holders), Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda

Notes

– Winners and runners-up in each AFCON 2023 group – except Group H – qualify for 24-team finals in the Ivory Coast during June and July 2023

– Ivory Coast automatically qualify from Group H as tournament hosts, along with the highest placed of the other three teams

Kenya and Zimbabwe are suspended by FIFA due to government interference in the running of the sport and they will be allowed to compete only if the bans are lifted by mid-May

Mauritius have protested the eligibility of Sao Tome e Principe player Luis Leal in a preliminary tie they lost and a disciplinary hearing will decide which nation competes in Group A

QUALIFYING DATES AND FIXTURES

May 30-June 14

Matchday 1

Nigeria v S. Leone, G. Bissau v S. Tome or Mauritius, B. Faso v C. Verde, Togo v Eswatini, Cameroon v Kenya, Namibia v Burundi, Egypt v Guinea, Malawi v Ethiopia, Ghana v Madagascar, Angola v C.A.R., Algeria v Uganda, Niger v Tanzania, Mali v Congo, Gambia v S. Sudan, I. Coast v Zambia, Comoros v Lesotho, DR Congo v Gabon, Mauritania v Sudan, Tunisia v E. Guinea, Libya v Botswana, Morocco v South Africa, Zimbabwe v Liberia, Senegal v Benin, Mozambique v Rwanda

Matchday 2

S. Leone v G. Bissau, S. Tome or Mauritius v Nigeria, C. Verde v Togo, Eswatini v B. Faso, Kenya v Namibia, Burundi v Cameroon, Guinea v Malawi, Ethiopia v Egypt, Madagascar v Angola, C.A.R. v Ghana, Uganda v Niger, Tanzania v Algeria, Congo v Gambia, S. Sudan v Mali, Zambia v Comoros, Lesotho v I. Coast, Gabon v Mauritania, Sudan v DR Congo, E. Guinea v Libya, Botswana v Tunisia, South Africa v Zimbabwe, Liberia v Morocco, Benin v Mozambique, Rwanda v Senegal

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September 19-27

Matchday 3

Nigeria v G. Bissau, S. Leone v S. Tome or Mauritius, B. Faso v Togo, C. Verde v Eswatini, Cameroon v Namibia, Kenya v Burundi, Egypt v Malawi, Guinea v Ethiopia, Ghana v Angola, Madagascar v C.A.R., Algeria v Niger, Uganda v Tanzania, Mali v Gambia, Congo v S. Sudan, I. Coast v Comoros, Zambia v Lesotho, DR Congo v Mauritania, Gabon v Sudan, Tunisia v Libya, E. Guinea v Botswana, Morocco v Zimbabwe, South Africa v Liberia, Senegal v Mozambique, Benin v Rwanda

Matchday 4

G. Bissau v Nigeria, S. Tome or Mauritius v S. Leone, Togo v B. Faso, Eswatini v C. Verde, Namibia v Cameroon, Burundi v Kenya, Malawi v Egypt, Ethiopia v Guinea, Angola v Ghana, C.A.R. v Madagascar, Niger v Algeria, Tanzania v Uganda, Gambia v Mali, S. Sudan v Congo, Comoros v I. Coast, Lesotho v Zambia, Mauritania v DR Congo, Sudan v Gabon, Libya v Tunisia, Botswana v E. Guinea, Zimbabwe v Morocco, Liberia v South Africa, Mozambique v Senegal, Rwanda v Benin

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March 20-28, 2023

Matchday 5

S. Leone v Nigeria, S. Tome or Mauritius v G. Bissau, C. Verde v B. Faso, Eswatini v Togo, Kenya v Cameroon, Burundi v Namibia, Guinea v Egypt, Ethiopia v Malawi, Madagascar v Ghana, C.A.R. v Angola, Uganda v Algeria, Tanzania v Niger, Congo v Mali, S. Sudan v Gambia, Zambia v I. Coast, Lesotho v Comoros, Gabon v DR Congo, Sudan v Mauritania, E. Guinea v Tunisia, Botswana v Libya, South Africa v Morocco, Liberia v Zimbabwe, Benin v Senegal, Rwanda v Mozambique

Matchday 6

G. Bissau v S. Leone, Nigeria v S. Tome or Mauritius, Togo v C. Verde, B. Faso v Eswatini, Namibia v Kenya, Cameroon v Burundi, Malawi v Guinea, Egypt v Ethiopia, Angola v Madagascar, Ghana v C.A.R., Niger v Uganda, Algeria v Tanzania, Gambia v Congo, Mali v S. Sudan, Comoros v Zambia, I. Coast v Lesotho, Mauritania v Gabon, DR Congo v Sudan, Libya v E. Guinea, Tunisia v Botswana, Zimbabwe v South Africa, Morocco v Liberia, Mozambique v Benin, Senegal v Rwanda

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