Reigning African champions Algeria, as well as Nigeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and hosts Cameroun have been named top seeds for Tuesday’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) draw.
According to goal.com, the draw — set for Yaounde Conference Centre — will see the 24 participating teams zoned into six groups of four teams each for the competition that gets underway in January 2022.
In picking the seeded countries, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) put into consideration the August version of the FIFA rankings — the last rating released before the date of the draw.
Goal.com reports that based on their status as hosts, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroun have been allocated in Pot 1, while the Desert Foxes of Algeria – who emerged as champions of the 2019 edition – have been placed in Pot 2.
Senegal — The Lions of Teranga; the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia; Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Atlas Lions of Morocco were allocated Pot 3, Pot 4, Pot 5 ad Pot 6 respectively — according to their respective rankings in descending order.
In addition, the six pots representing the groups will be labelled Groups A to F.
While Cameroon will be pre-assigned to position A1 as hosts, the remaining five teams in pot 1 will automatically be drawn into position 1 of each group (B to F). The same procedure will be repeated for the remaining pots.
The 33rd edition of the biennial African football showpiece was due to begin on January 9, 2021, however, it was pushed back to January 2022 due to the CoVID-19 impact that crippled football-related activities.
Before the advent of CoVID-19, the competition was moved from June-July 2021 dates to January due to the unfavourable climate in the West African country during the summer months.