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Black Stars among top seeds for AFCON 2025 qualifiers

The Black Stars of Ghana have been placed in Pot 1 ahead of the official draw for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Morocco 2025 qualifiers, scheduled for 12:30pm tomorrow in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced the draw procedure on Wednesday, with 48 teams set to participate in the official draw. According to CAF, the 12 highest-ranked nations based on the latest FIFA Rankings, released on June 20, 2024, will occupy Pot 1.

Ghana’s Black Stars, having moved up four places in the FIFA rankings, are now grouped with the top 12 teams on the continent. They climbed from 14th to 12th in Africa following impressive victories over Mali and the Central African Republic in recent World Cup qualifiers.

Joining Ghana in Pot 1 are hosts Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Algeria, Tunisia, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Mali, South Africa, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This top-tier placement means Ghana will avoid facing these leading teams in the group stage.

The draw, set to take place in Johannesburg on Thursday, July 4, at 14:30 local time (12:30 GMT), will involve 48 African nations. These teams will be grouped into four pots of 12, based on their FIFA Rankings, to determine the qualifiers for the 35th edition of AFCON.

The draw will produce 12 groups of four teams each (Groups A to L). The first and second-place finishers in the 11 groups that do not include tournament hosts Morocco will qualify for the competition. In the group involving Morocco, the following scenarios will apply:

- If Morocco finishes first, they qualify along with the second-placed team.
- If Morocco finishes second, they qualify along with the first-placed team.
- If Morocco finishes third or fourth, they qualify along with the first-placed team.

The draw procedure will see the first ball drawn from Pot 4 to position A4, with the process repeated for the remaining teams in Pot 4, followed by Pots 3, 2, and finally Pot 1.

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