Malawi national football team will today be among 12 teams that will go into pot three for the 2012 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) draw to be held during CAF general assembly in Cairo, Egypt.
Malawi falls in the third level based on the June Fifa rankings, according to a statement from the continental football governing body.
Other countries in pot three are; Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Namibia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Togo, Sudan and Tanzania.
Pot one has Africa’s 12 giants Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, DR Congo, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Algeria.
Uganda Cranes, Guinea, South Africa, Cape Verde, Zambia, Benin, Gabon, Congo, Mauritania, Niger and Libya are in pot two.
Burundi, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, E-swatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Comoros and Ethiopia are the seeded teams in pot four.
The last pot has lowly-ranked teams such Liberia, Mauritius, Gambia, South Sudan, Chad, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles and Djibouti.
“There will be 12 groups of four teams each [Group A to L]. The first two teams in each group at the end of the qualifying round will make it for the final tournament that will be hosted in 2021 by Cameroon,” reads a statement from CAF.
At the finals, the 24 teams will be drawn into six groups of four teams each. The teams in each group play a single round robin. After the group stage, the top two teams from each group and the best third teams will advance to the round of 16.
The Flames have been seeded from preliminary stage and will join the qualifiers in group stage after Confederations of African Football (CAF) used the June Fifa ranking to seed teams into five levels.
Coach Meke Mwase said the Flames need to be prepared to face any team.
“It’s good that we have been seeded and that we will go straight into the group stages. This increases our chances of qualifying,” he said.
“Though we are talking of building a team, our aim is to qualify for the 2021 final.”
Mwase, however, called for thorough preparations for the qualifiers.
The Flames also started in group stages of the 2019 Afcon qualification, but failed to qualify for the final after finishing third in a group which had Cameroon, Morocco and Comoros.
Morocco were group winners while Cameroon finished as runner-up and qualified for the finals currently underway in Egypt. Comoros anchored the table.
The 2021 Afcon is set to take place in Cameroon who were supposed to host the current tournament before losing their hosting rights in November.