Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he is happy following the draw of the 2015 AFCON tournament scheduled for Morocco next year.
The draw was conducted in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sunday (27 April 2014).
Bafana Bafana are paired against reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions Nigeria, Sudan and the winner of Namibia, DR Congo (Brazzaville), Libya and Rwanda contest.
“It is a fair draw and I think we should be one of the two countries that qualify to the finals in Morocco,” said Igesund reacting to the draw.
“I was not expecting an easy draw because all countries are competitive but I am very hopeful of qualifying for Morocco 2015.
“The past two years of my tenure have been the most difficult one but now I do have a core of around 30 players on which to choose from and Bafana Bafana should be one of the countries going to Morocco,” said Igesund.
The Bafana Bafana coach admitted that Group D comprising of Ivory Coast, Cameroon and DRCongo was probably the Group of Death.
Group G, comprising Tunisia Egypt and Senegal is also another tough Group.
The 30th edition of AFCON will be played from 17 January through to 8 February 2015, after the organising committee approved the dates at CAF’s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt.
The distribution of groups, and their locations, has also been announced.
Group A will be based in Marrakech, the city that will host the opening match. Group B will be based in Agadir. Rabat will host Group C, as well as the cup final itself. Group D will be located in Tangier.
The final draw for Morocco 2015 will be held in Rabat on 26 November.
The change in the dates means the event will be extended by one day.
It has come about because unlike in previous Africa Cup of Nations where both semi-finals have been played on the same date, the organising committee has decided to split the two matches in Morocco.
These will now be played on 4 February and 5 February respectively.
There will only be one fixture on the opening day in Marrakech – the first match of Group A. The second fixture of Group A will be played on 18 January. Two Group B matches will also be played on 18 January.
Here is the full draw:
Group A: Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, winner of Namibia/Congo/Libya/Rwanda
Group B: Mali, Algeria, Ethiopia, Sao Tome/Benin/Malawi/Chad
Group C: Burkina Faso, Angola, Gabon, winner of Liberia/Lesotho/Kenya/Comoros
Group D: Ivory Coast, Cameroon, DR Congo, winner of Swaziland/Sierra Leone/Gambia/Seychelles
Group E: Ghana, Togo, Guinea, winner of Madagascar/Uganda/Mauritania/Equatorial Guinea
Group F: Zambia, Cape Verde, Niger, winner of Tanzania/Zimbabwe/Mozambique/South Sudan
Group G: Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, winner of Burundi/Botswana/CAR/Guinea Bissau.
Match 5 & 6 Liberia vs Lesotho
Match 7 & 8 Kenya vs Comoros
Match 9 & 10 Madagascar vs Uganda
Match 11 & 12 Mauritania vs Equatorial Guinea
Match 13 & 14 Namibia vs Congo
Match 15 & 16 Libya vs Rwanda
Match 17 & 18 Burundi vs Botswana
Match 19 & 20 Central African Republic vs Guinea Bissau
Match 21 & 22 Swaziland vs Sierra Leone
Match 23 & 24 Gambia vs Seychelles
Match 25 & 26 Sao Tome e Principe vs Benin
Match 27 & 28 Malawi vs Chad
Match 29 & 30 Tanzania vs Zimbabwe
Match 31 & 31 Mozambique vs South Sudan
First leg 16,17,18 May 2014
Second leg 30,31 May or 1 June 2014