African interest will fall on Johannesburg on Thursday when the draw for the final round of qualifiers for the 2013 Afcon finals takes place at Emperors Palace.
Thirty countries divided into Pot A and Pot B will go into the draw that will determine the final qualification route for next year’s continental showpiece to be staged in the country from January 19-February 10.
Pot A which has all the seeded teams based on showings at the last three editions of the Afcon finals after the second round of qualifiers has Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia and Zambia.
Pot B has Botswana, Cape Verde Islands, Central Africa Republic, Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, DR Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The 30 countries that go into the draw will produce 15 winners that will join host nation South Africa early next year.
A two legged system of home and away final round of qualifiers will be played on September 7-9 and October 12-14 will determine who goes into the 16 teams finals draw on October 26.
CAF has truncated the qualification process for next year’s finals after the tournament’s premier football meeting – held every two years – was moved to every odd year to avoid it’s every second edition falling in the same year as the World Cup.
The draw will be minus record winners Egypt who were bundled out by Central Africa Republic in the second round and join Congo Brazzaville as the only previous winners out of the running for a place in the finals.
CAR and Cape Verde are actually the only countries out of the 30 in the final qualifying draw to have never qualified for the actual finals.
The winner of next year’s Afcon will go on to play in the Fifa Confederations Cup in Brazil later on in the year.