Tricky Chan draw for Warriors

HARARE – Zimbabwe were handed a tricky group for next year’s African Nations Championship (Chan) finals in South Africa following the draw conducted at the Caf Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday.

The draw, conducted by Caf Secretary General Hicham El Amrani, placed Zimbabwe in Group B alongside North African giants Morocco alongside Uganda and Burkina Faso.

Zimbabwe will be making their third consecutive appearance at the tournament, which is designed specifically for footballers plying their trade in domestic leagues across the continent.

The Warriors have failed to go beyond the group stage in the previous two editions.

But like the saying goes, if you want to be the best in the world, you have to beat the best and prove your mettle.

Morocco will be fancied to do well, having beaten holders Tunisia in the first qualifying round while Burkina Faso and Uganda could also prove unpredictable.

South Africa, who qualified automatically as hosts, have been drawn against fierce rivals Nigeria in Group A. Nigeria are making their first appearance at the finals, having qualified with a 4-3 victory over Ivory Coast.

Placed together in Group C, Ghana and Libya secured their places after opponents Benin and Algeria withdrew.

Cape Town, Mangaung and Polokwane are the host cities for the 2014 tournament and group winners and runners-up will advance to the quarter-finals.

All the qualified teams with the exception of hosts South Africa, were ranked based on their performances during the last two editions of the Chan competition in 2009 (Cote d'Ivoire) and 2011 (Sudan).

The four seeded teams were South Africa, DR Congo, Ghana and Zimbabwe. Pot 2 was made up of Gabon, Mali, Libya and Uganda with Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia and Nigeria in Pot 3 whereas Congo, Mauritania, Morocco and Mozambique made up Pot 4.

The ceremony was graced by Caf President Issa Hayatou and members of the Caf Executive Committee and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Almamy Kabele.

The championship will kick off on January 11 and end on February 1.

Chan 2014 full draw
Group A: South Africa, Mali, Nigeria, Mozambique
Group B: Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Morocco
Group C: Ghana, Libya, Ethiopia, Congo Brazzaville
Group D: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Burundi, Mauritania

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