Kenya, Tanzania Land In Group C Of 2019 AFCON Draw In Egypt

Apr 12 - by Erick Ochieng for SportPesa News

Harambee Stars took part last in the biennial football showpiece in Tunisia in 2004 captained by former skipper Musa Otieno

Harambee Stars players pose for a team photo prior to their Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier against Ghana on Saturday September 8, 2018, at the MISC Kasarani. PHOTO/FKF

  • Kenya landed in Group C of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament slated for June 21 to July 19 in Egypt following a draw conducted in Cairo on Friday night
  • Harambee Stars (seven points) qualified for the continental football showpiece after finishing second behind Black Stars of Ghana (nine) in Group F that also had Walywa Antelopes of Ethiopia who were last on one.

  • Egypt to kick-off the tournament against Zimbabwe on June 21

CAIRO, Egypt- Kenya landed in Group C of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament slated for June 21 to July 19 in Egypt following a draw conducted in Cairo on Friday night.

Kenya will battle neighbors Tanzania, Senegal and Algeria in Pool C that will be based at Air Defense Stadium in the Egyptian capital.

Harambee Stars (seven points) qualified for the continental football showpiece after finishing second behind Black Stars of Ghana (nine) in Group F that also had Walywa Antelopes of Ethiopia who were last on one.

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Kenya took part last in the biennial tournament in Tunisia in 2004 captained by former Harambee Stars skipper Musa Otieno.

The squad that included Gor Mahia FC and former Auxerre striker Dennis Oliech and Belgium based Mike Okoth, father to Liverpool forward Divock Origi, was then drawn in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal.

Stars ended the Tunisia contest third ahead of Burkina Faso but failed to progress to the next round.

Kenya was seeded third alongside former champions South Africa, Uganda, Benin, Mauritania and Madagascar ahead of the 2019 AFCON draw on Friday.

Egypt, who will kick-off the tournament against Zimbabwe on June 21, and Cameroon benefited from being this year’s hosts and title-holders respectively when the seedings  that were announced on Thursday.

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The draw in Cairo Friday based on the April FIFA rankings which, ordinarily, would have placed Cameroon (ranked 54) and Egypt (57) among the second seeds.

But it is a worldwide football tradition that hosts and title-holders are among the top seeds and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee followed suit.

Cameroon were the original 2019 hosts for the tournament, but delays in preparations and security concerns forced a switch to Egypt, who will stage the tournament a fifth time.   

Uganda were runners-up to hosts Ghana in 1978, then failed to qualify for 39 years before securing a place at the 2017 Cup of Nations in Gabon.

This will be the first 24-team Cup of Nations -- up from 16 -- and the timing has changed from January/February to June/July to avoid European club-versus-country clashes.

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The six group winners and six runners-up automatically qualify for the knockout second round and will be joined by the four best third-placed teams.

After the eight second-round fixtures, there will be the quarter-finals, semi-finals, a third-place play-off and the final.

Egypt have won the Cup of Nations a record seven times with Cameroon (five titles) and Ghana (four) the next most successful countries.

2019 AFCON Draw

Group A : Cairo Stadium 

Egypt (hosts), Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe

Group B : Alexandria Stadium 

Nigeria, Guinea, Madagascar, Burundi

Group C : Air Defense Stadium (Cairo)

Senegal, Algeria, Kenya, Tanzania

Group D : Al Salam Stadium (Cairo)

Morocco, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Namibia

Group E : Suez Stadium 

Tunisia, Mali, Mauritania, Angola

Group F : Ismailia Stadium

Cameroon (holders), Ghana, Benin, Guinea-Bissau