By Staff Writers
Lesotho have been pooled against Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Benin Republic in Group L of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Cameroon.
The draw ceremony took place on Thursday evening at the plush Marriott Hotels in Cairo, ahead of the tournament’s final match between Senegal and Algeria set for Friday.
African football icons, Nwankwo Kanu, Samuel Eto’o, Khalilou Fadiga, Geremi Njitap, El Hadji Diouf and Jose Clayton were among those in attendance.
Caf deputy General Secretary of Football and Development, Anthony Baffoe was in charge of proceedings and was assisted by Algerian football great, Rabah Madjer, Eto’o and Nigeria’s Kanu.
The 48 teams were drawn into 12 groups of four teams, in addition to the four winners of the preliminary round.
The draw has brought together the continent’s footballing giants, with Group C having Ghana and South Africa, joined by Sudan and the winner between Mauritius and Sao Tome & Principe.
In Group A, Mali will join Guinea, Namibia and the winner between Liberia and Chad for size, while Group B comprises of Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi and Djibouti/Gambia.
The top two teams will book their place for the 33rd edition of the championship.
Hosts Cameroon will participate in the qualifiers even though the team is guaranteed a spot in the finals regardless of its ranking in the group.
Their matches and results will count in determining the qualification of the other teams from their groups, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda.
Here’s the full group stage draw for the #TotalAFCON2021 qualifiers:
Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/Chad
Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles
Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome
Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti/Gambia
Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi
Cameroon (hosts), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda
Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros
Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana
Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)
Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea
Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia
Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho NW