The seedings for Friday’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) draw were approved by the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) executive committee meeting in Cairo on Thursday‚ with Bafana Bafana drawn in Pot 3.
This means the South Africans – qualifiying for their second Nations Cup out of three having reached Equatorial Guinea 2015‚ but bombed out of Gabon 2017 – will be drawn in a group of four with two strong‚ higher-ranked teams.
The two top sides in each of the six groups qualify for the last-16 at Egypt 2019 in June and July‚ plus the four best runners-up.
Friday night’s draw at the Pyramids in Cairo will divide the 24 finalists. It starts at 8pm SA time.
South Africa Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan and Bafana Bafana team manager Barney Kujane will attend the draw as South African representatives.
Coach Stuart Baxter did not travel despite there being a workshop in the Egyptian capital on Wednesday for all the 24 qualified coaches.
South Africa were drawn with Uganda‚ Benin‚ Mauritania‚ Madagascar and Kenya in Pot 3.
Hosts Egypt will take up place A1 in the draw with holders Cameroon‚ Senegal‚ Tunisia‚ Nigeria and Morocco also in the top-seeded Pot 1.
The second pot is made up of Democratic Republic of Congo‚ Ghana‚ Mali‚ Cote d’Ivoire‚ Guinea and Algeria.
Pot 4 has Zimbabwe‚ Namibia‚ Guinea-Bissau‚ Angola‚ Tanzania and Burundi.
A dream draw for Bafana would be something like Morocco‚ Guinea and Tanzania. A nightmare would go along the lines of Egypt‚ Ghana and Zimbabwe.
The 2019 Afcon runs from June 21 to July 19.
2019 Africa Cup of Nations draw pots –
Pot 1: Egypt‚ Cameroon‚ Senegal‚ Tunisia‚ Nigeria‚ Morocco
Pot 2: DR Congo‚ Ghana‚ Mali‚ Cote d’Ivoire‚ Guinea‚ Algeria
Pot 3: South Africa‚ Uganda‚ Benin‚ Mauritania‚ Madagascar‚ Kenya
Pot 4: Zimbabwe‚ Namibia‚ Guinea-Bissau‚ Angola‚ Tanzania‚ Burundi