Soccer

2015 Afcon: Coach Micho upset by Cranes preliminaries start

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Cranes coach Micho takes players through drills during a recent training session. He will have to adjust his schedule to accommodate preliminary matches.

Cranes coach Micho takes players through drills during a recent training session. He will have to adjust his schedule to accomodate prelimiary matches. PHOTOS BY ISMAIL KEZAALA 

By FREDRICK MUSISI KIYINGI & ANDREW MWANGUHYA

Posted  Tuesday, January 28   2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Uganda Cranes are used to starting the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in group stages but their poor show in the last three qualifying campaigns will see them start against minnows in May. Afcon Qualifiers’ draw to be held in Cairo on April 27 2014 but preliminary rounds, will held from May to August 2014.

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KAMPALA

Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic was yesterday taken aback by news that Uganda’s road to the 2015 Orange Africa Cup of Nations will have to take a rather longer route.

Uganda will start their campaign for the tournament to be hosted in Morocco in preliminaries following a Caf executive meeting held last Friday in Cape Town, South Africa. According to the guidelines, out of the 51 countries that will take part in the qualifiers, the top 21 teams listed on Caf seeding list will go directly to group stage.

The rest of the teams including Uganda, ranked 26th with 6.5 points following poor performance in the qualifiers for 2012 and 2013 Afcon, and the 2014 World Cup, will participate in the preliminaries scheduled for May – August 2014. The seven teams from preliminaries will join the top 21 seeded teams to make 28 sides.

This news was received with shock by Micho, who earlier believed the Cranes would join the group stages in September directly. “As far as we know, the draw for Nations Cup is on April 30,” said a surprised Micho, “But if what you are telling me is true, then it is very bad for planning because that means after the draws you immediately go into qualifying games. Up until now I’m shocked they have gone that way.

“We’ll wait to know our opponents and follow the rules. But it’s impossible to plan with such sudden situations.”
Twenty-eight teams will be divided in seven groups of four, with matches being played between September 5th to November19th.

The top two from the seven groups and the third-place best team from the seven groups will qualify for the tournament.
The 15 teams will join hosts Morocco for the finals. The tournament will be held in four cities of Rabat, Agadir, Tanger, and Marrakech.

Team qualified automatically for group stage
1 Nigeria - 39.5
2 Ghana - 38
3 CIV - 36
4 Zambia- 33
5 Burkina - 32
6 Mali - 30
7 Tunisia- 22.5
Morocco- 18
8 Algeria - 18
9 Angola- 17
10 Cap Verde- 16.5
11 Togo - 14.5
12 Egypt - 14.5
13 S. Africa- 13.5
14 Cameroon- 13.5
15 RDC - 12
16 Ethiopia- 12
17 Gabon - 12
18 Niger- 11
19 Guinea - 11
20 Senegal - 11
21 Sudan- 10.5
26 Uganda- 6.5

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com