AFCON Morocco 2025 preliminary round draw conducted

* A total of 52 nations will be engaged for the group stages whose official draw will be announced after the preliminary stages

* The four lowest ranked nations will play at home first, with the return leg to be hosted by the higher ranked opposing nation

Maravi Express

Following the successful conclusion to the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations Côte d’Ivoire 2023, the preliminary round draw for the next edition of the competition set to take place in Morocco was officially conducted at the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt last night.


The preliminary round pits eight teams lowest-ranked teams according to the FIFA ranking — Somalia, Djibouti, São Tomé e Principe, Chad, Mauritius, South Sudan, Liberia and eSwatini.

The matches will be played on home and away basis during the FIFA Window of March 18-26, 2024 whose four 4 winners will join the 44 exempted teams for the group stage.

The four lowest ranked nations will play at home first, with the return leg to be hosted by the higher ranked opposing nation.

The fixtures are Somalia vs eSwatini; Sao Tome vs South Sudan; Chad vs Mauritius; Djibouti vs Liberia.

A total of 52 nations will be engaged for the AFCON Morocco 2025 qualifiers and CAF will soon announce the official draw of the group stages of the qualifiers upon the conclusion of the preliminary stages.

Meanwhile, Côte d’Ivoire 2023 winning coach, Emerse Fae is the latest addition to the ever-growing list of African tacticians that have orchestrated a continental title.

Fae guided the Elephants to their third AFCON title after beating Nigeria 2-1 victory that came under the astute guidance of the 40-year-old coach, who took over the reigns from Jean-Louis Gasset after the team received a lifeline from finishing as one of the third-best placed teams in the group stages, to emphatically march to a pole finish.

Since the competition’s inaugural edition in 1957, 11 African coaches have now officially lifted the title, with the list expected to grow over the upcoming editions, as young African tacticians — both men and women — continue to emerge from all corners of the continent.

The first AFCON was lifted by Mourad Fahmy of Egypt and was followed by Charles Gyamfi (Ghana), who jointly holds the record of the most AFCON titles (3) with Hassan Shehata of Egypt.

Charles Gyamfi and Hassan Shehata

Of the seven titles held by Egypt, five were achieved under the auspices of a local coach, while two of the Elephants’ three titles are shared by Ivorians in Martial Yeo (1992) and quite recently, Fae.

Abdelhamid Kermali was the first coach to guide Algeria to continental success in 1990, while Djamel Belmadi, who was born in France but later represented the Desert Foxes between 2000-2004 before ascending to Algeria’s highest coaching seat gave Algeria their second title in 2019.

Other notable African coaches that have guided their respective nations to glory include Fred Osam Doudu (Ghana), Abdelhamid Kermali (Algeria), Clive Barker (South Africa), Mohamed Al Gohari (Egypt), Stephen Keshi (Nigeria) and Aliou Cisse (Senegal).

Senegal’s Aliou Cisse, winner for 2021 title

Also interesting to note is that current CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations champions, South Africa are coached by their former captain, Desiree Ellis.

African coaches to win the AFCON title:

1957 – Mourad Fahmy (Egypt)

1963 – Charles Gyamfi (Ghana)

1965 – Charles Gyamfi (Ghana)

1978 – Fred Osam Doudu (Ghana)

1982 – Charles Gyamfi (Ghana)

1990 – Abdelhamid Kermali (Algeria)

1992 – Martial Yeo (Cote d’Ivoire)

1996 – Clive Barker (South Africa)

1998 – Mohamed Al Gohari (Egypt)

2006 – Hassan Shehata (Egypt)

2008 – Hassan Shehata (Egypt)

2010 – Hassan Shehata (Egypt)

2013 – Stephen Keshi (Nigeria)

2019 – Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)

2021 – Aliou Cisse (Senegal)

2023 – Emerse Fae (Cote d’Ivoire)—Reporting by CAFonline