Warriors handed fair Afcon draw

HARARE - Zimbabwe have been given a golden opportunity to end their African Nations Cup appearance drought after they were handed a fair route to next year’s continental football extravaganza.

The Warriors have been pooled in Group F but will first have to win play-offs between Tanzania and the winner between Mozambique and South Sudan for a place in the Group stages were Zambia, Cape Verde and Niger lie in wait.

Zimbabwe face Tanzania on the weekend of May 16 to 18 before the return leg on May 30 to June 1.

The group stages will only start around September with seven groups of four teams playing a round robin format where the top two finishers will then qualify for Afcon 2015 in Morocco.

The seven group winners, seven group runners-up and the best third-placed side will qualify directly for the final tournament.

The final tournament will be played from January 17 to February 8 in Morocco next year.

Meanwhile, Nigeria will be favourites to clinch Group A after drawing South Africa, Sudan and the winner of Namibia, Congo, Libya and Rwanda.

Group B will see Mali, Algeria and Ethiopia, will be joined by the play-offs winner of Sao Tome, Benin, Malawi and Chad.

Group C features Burkina Faso, Angola and Gabon who will be joined by winner of play-off matches amongst Liberia, Lesotho, Kenya and Comoros.

Ivory Coast, Cameroon and DR Congo will face the winner of Swaziland, Sierra Leone, Gambia, and Seychelles in Group D.

Group E sees Ghana, Togo and Guinea battling for the first two top posts for Afcon qualification whilst the winner of Madagascar, Uganda, Mauritania and Equatorial Guinea will want to have a say in that tussle.

Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal and the winner of Burundi, Botswana, CAR and Guinea Bissau will battle for qualification in Group G.