THE Warriors face a tough 2017 African Cup of Nations finals draw due to be conducted in Libreville, Gabon on October 19 as they will be in Pot 4 according to the Confederation of African Football ( Caf). The continental soccer controlling body announced the pots for the draw on Monday in Cairo with the Warriors placed in the same pot with Togo, Uganda and Guinea Bissau.
By Tongai Mwenje
With traditional powerhouses except Nigeria having qualified for the biennial soccer showcase, it suggests the Warriors face tough opponents such as holders Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt in the group stages.
For the AFCON qualifiers, 2017 edition was multiplied by a co-efficient of 2, 1 for 2015 and 0.5 for the 2013 edition with four (4) points for 1st in the group, three (3) for 2nd in the group, two (2) for 3rd in the group and one (1) for 4th in the group, whereas the 2013 qualifiers had three (3) points for the qualified team, two (2) for loser in the second round and one (1) for loser in the first round.
For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the point system decided are as follows; 20 for winner, 12 for runner-up, 10 for semi-finalists, 8 for quarter-finalists, 6 for round of 16, 4 for 3rd in the group and 3 for 4th in the group multiplied by a co-efficient of 2.
And for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, seven (7) points was awarded for qualifying to the World Cup, five (5) for reaching the Playoffs, three (3) for 2nd in the group, two (2) for 3rd in the group and one (1) for 4th in the group multiplied by a co-efficient of 1.
Based on the above, the following four pots were established;
Pot 1: Gabon,Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana , Algeria
Pot 2: Tunisia ,Mali ,Burkina Faso, DR Congo
Pot 3: Cameroon,Senegal,Morocco,Egypt
Pot 4: Togo,Uganda, Zimbabwe,Guinea Bissau
The pots were based on the performance of the qualified teams during the AFCON final tournaments (2012, 2013, 2015), AFCON qualifiers (2013, 2015, 2017), FIFA World Cup (2014) and FIFA World Cup qualifiers (2014).
The host Gabon will avoid holders Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Algeria because they are the top seeds for the draw of the final tournament of the Total Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017. Cameroon, Senegal, Morocco and Egypt will not meet in the group stages.
Teams will be drawn into four groups of four with the top two teams in each group advancing into the last quarter finals.
The Warriors, broke their 10-year jinx two months ago when they thrashed The Flames of Malawi 3-0 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare to qualify for the next edition of the Africa Cup of Nations finals to be held in Gabon in January next year.
The Kalisto led team, who had last qualified for the 2006 event in Egypt under Charles Mhlauri, in June rolled back the hands of time after ensuring that they finish top of Group L with one last round of matches remaining. Their group also included Swaziland and West African giants Guinea.