ZIMBABWE senior men’s football team, the Warriors, will discover their roadmap to next year’s African Nations Championships (Chan) finals with the qualifying draw set for Egypt next week.
The draw will be conducted at the Caf headquarters in Cairo on April 5 at 4pm (local time).
Forty two countries will be involved in the draw based on zonal distributions of the national associations affiliated to Caf.
Qualifiers will start from the weekend of June 19 to 21 through to August 28 to 30 where 15 teams will emerge to join hosts Rwanda for the final tournament from January 16 to February 7.
The Southern Zone, which has 12 countries including Zimbabwe, will play two knock-out qualifiers each with the top three going through to the finals.
The other countries in the same pot as the Warriors include Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Mauritius, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.
This will be the fourth edition of the tournament designed exclusively for players who feature in their domestic leagues.
Zimbabwe qualified for the last edition last year in South Africa after beating Mauritius and Zambia in the qualifiers.
The Warriors went on to impress at the finals, going all the way to the semis where they were knocked out on penalties by eventual winners Libya.
Democratic Republic of Congo won the inaugural event hosted by Ivory Coast in 2009 while Tunisia lifted the 2011 title in Sudan.
While the rest of the zones will play two rounds each for the qualifiers, the Northern Zone, which includes Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, will play each other on a round-robin basis with the top two qualifying for the final tournament.
The zonal distribution
Zone West A (two spots) – Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone
Zone West B (three spots) – Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria, Togo
Central Zone (three spots) – Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Chad, DR Congo, Gabon
Central-East Zone (three including hosts) – Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.
Southern Zone (three spots) – Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Mauritius, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.