The pots for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals draw scheduled for Cairo on Friday, April 12 have been confirmed with Ghana missing out on the top seeding.
Draw starts at 18:00 GMT.
All 24 qualified teams were classified according to their positions on the latest (April) Fifa rankings.
Hosts Egypt and defending champions Cameroon are however the exceptions, joining the Top 4-ranked nations to head the respective groups they will be drawn into. Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco join the list of six (6) seeded sides for the 24-team tournament.
“The organizing country (Egypt) shall be the head of group A.
“The holder of the trophy (Cameroon) will be the head of one of the five other groups in addition to 4 other head of groups determined in accordance to the ranking,” read Article 73.1 of the regulations of the competition.
This development complicates the Black Stars’ path to another continental glory since 1982 as they drop to Pot 2 with the likes of DR Congo, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea and Algeria. Kwasi Appiah’s side can thus be drawn to face any of the top-seeded countries.
The draw pots in full:
Pot 1: Egypt, Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco
Pot 2: DR Congo, Ghana, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Algeria
Pot 3: South Africa, Uganda, Benin, Mauritania, Madagascar, Kenya
Pot 4: Zimbabwe, Namibia, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Tanzania, Burundi
Egypt 2019 will be the first 24-team Cup of Nations – increased from 16 – and the timing has changed from January/February to June/July to avoid European club-versus-country clashes.
The groupings will be six of four teams each with the top two automatically advancing to the knockout second round stage. The 12 countries will however be joined by four best third-placed teams from the group stage.
Following the eight second-round fixtures, will be the quarterfinals, semifinals, a third-place playoff and the final.
On June 21, host nation Egypt will kick off the tournament which will run through to the 19th of July.