Bafana Bafana have been drawn in Group C of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers where they will take on powerhouses Ghana, as well as Sudan. The fourth team in the group will come from the winners of a preliminary tie between Mauritius and Sao Tome e Principe.
The draw for the 33rdEdition of the tournament was conducted in Cairo on Thursday, 18 July.
The group phase of the qualifiers will be preceded by a preliminary round involving eight teams determined by the last FIFA Rankings. After that, the winners of the four matches will head into the group phase.
The preliminary stages are set to take place in October this year between 7 and 15 October and will be played on a home and away basis.
The 48 remaining teams have been divided into 12 groups of four teams each and the top two sides from each group will earn a ticket to the 2021 showpiece in Cameroon.
The first round of qualifiers will take place on the week of 11 – 19 November 2019 where they will play two matches.
The teams will take a nine month break from the 2021 AFCON qualifiers and resume the third and fourth round of matches on the week of 31 August to 8 September 2020 where they will also play two back to back fixtures.
The penultimate round of qualifiers will take place the following month on the week of 5 – 13 October 2020.
The final match in the qualifiers is on the week of 9 – 17 November 2020.
In other fixtures, Mali is in Group A against Guinea, Namibia and either Liberia or Chad
Burkina Faso will battle it out in Group B with Uganda, Malawi and South Sudan/Seychelles.
The Democratic Republic of Congo was drawn in Group D alongside Gabon, Angola and Djibouti/Sao Tome
Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic and Burundi will fight for the top two spots in Group E.
Hosts Cameroon have an automatic spot in the tournament, but will take part to gain competitive match practice – this means Cape Verde, Mozambique and Rwanda will contest the available two spots.
2019 AFCON hosts Egypt will go toe to toe against Kenya, Togo and Comoros Islands in Group G.
Group H sees Algeria and COSAFA members Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
eSwatini are in for a tough outing in Group I against 2019 AFCON finalists Senegal, as well as Congo Brazzaville and Guinea-Bissau.
Group J has Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania and Equatorial Guinea, while Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar and Ethiopia will be in Group K.
Another fellow COSAFA member, Lesotho will take on Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Benin in Group L.
Of the 54 members countries of CAF, only Eritrea and Somalia will not take part in the qualifiers as they did not enter the competition.
Draw in full:
Preliminary round: 7 – 15 October 2019
Liberia v Chad
South Sudan v Seychelles
Mauritius v Sao Tome e Principe
Djibouti v Gambia
A: Mali, Guinea, Namibia, Liberia/Chad
B: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan/Seychelles
C: Ghana, South Africa, Sudan, Mauritius/Sao Tome
D: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Angola, Djibouti/Gambia
E: Morocco, Mauritania, Central African Republic, Burundi
F: Cameroon (hosts), Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda
G: Egypt, Kenya, Togo, Comoros
H: Algeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana
I: Senegal, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea-Bissau, eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)
J: Tunisia, Libya, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea
K: Ivory Coast, Niger, Madagascar, Ethiopia
L: Nigeria, Benin, Sierra Leone, Lesotho
Did not enter: Eritrea, Somalia