Tough Chan draw for Warriors

HARARE - Zimbabwe were handed a tough 2016 African Nations Championships draw in Kigali, Rwanda last night.

The Warriors, who were seeded due to their previous good performances at the competition, were drawn in Group D where they will face Zambia, Mali and Uganda.

Calisto Pasuwa’s side will be expected to put in a good performance when the tournament kicks off on January 16 next year in Rwanda.

The Warriors, who have qualified for all the previous three Chan competitions, finished in fourth place at the last edition held in South Africa.

Zimbabwe lost on penalties to eventual winners Libya after reaching the semi-finals.

The Warriors, who were under the guidance of Ian Gorowa at that point, went on to lose the bronze medal play-off match to Nigeria.

Yesterday’s draw was attended by Rwanda president Paul Kagame, who is an avid football follower.

Kagame, who is an ardent Arsenal supporter, was given the honour to draw Rwanda’s first opponents in Group A and he picked Ivory Coast.

The other teams drawn in the same group are Gabon and Morocco.

“Rwanda is honoured to host the next Chan. Rwandese are generally happy people,” said Kagame.

Confederation of African Football (Caf) president Issa Hayatou did not attend the draw as he is currently recovering from a kidney transplant operation.

Taking his place in Kigali was Caf vice president Almamy Kabele of Guinea who said: “Greetings from Caf president Issa Hayatou and apologies for his inability to attend the ceremony. No doubt Rwanda will deliver a big jamboree. A typical African festival.”

The Chan is a tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues.

The first edition was held in 2009 in Ivory Coast with DR Congo emerging as champions. The second edition held in 2011 in Sudan had Tunisia as winners whilst Libya won the third edition in 2014 in South Africa.

2016 Chan Draw

Group A: Rwanda, Gabon, Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire

Group B: DRC, Angola, Cameroon, Ethiopia

Group C: Tunisia, Nigeria, Niger, Guinea

Group D: Zimbabwe, Mali, Uganda, Zambia

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