Cranes-AFCON

Uganda Cranes may find themselves in a tough group of four for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations when the draw for the group stages is conducted by the Caf on Friday evening.

FUFA 3rd Vice President Hon. Florence Nakiwala Kiyingi, FUFA National teams’ manager Patrick Ntege, along with Fufa President Eng. Moses Magogo and Head Coach Sebastien Desabre are in Egypt to represent the country ahead of the draws.

While the format for the draw is yet to be made public, Caf is expected to use a mixture of the March 2019 FIFA world rankings released last week and recent performances in the Nations Cup to sort the teams.

Uganda’s current FIFA world ranking is at 79th, which translates into a 16th ranking on the continent, plus a poor record at previous continental tournaments inclusive of CHAN, the Cranes are certain to find themselves in a tough opening round group.

Cranes may be pooled seeded in pot 3, and this means it is certain to end up in the same group of two of the top 12-ranked sides in the tournament.

Uganda will face one of these teams; host nation Egypt (8th in Africa), Senegal (1st in Africa), Ghana, Cameroon, Tunisia and Ivory Coast.

And then will also face one of these; Morocco, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Nigeria, Guinea and Algeria.

The fourth team in Uganda’s likely group will be a nation ranked lower than them, but all in all, it may seem to be a tough group considering the other two who are highly ranked and considerably better than the Cranes.

The 24 qualified nations are divided into four pots‚ each containing six teams‚ which will be drawn into the six first round groups of four.

The top two sides in each pool along with the four best third-placed teams will advance to the second round. From there, the winners will progress to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and eventually the final.

Cranes will be making their second consecutive Afcon appearance and will be looking forward to progress from the group stages of the continental showpiece.

At the previous AFCON appearance in 2017, Uganda were pooled with Ghana, Egypt and Mali and managed just a single point and one goal from the three games.

It will be the 32nd edition of the international men’s football championship of Africa and will be hosted from 21st June with the final to be played on 19th July 2019.

The draw will take place on Friday, 12th April 2019 on a historic place facing the Sphinx and the Pyramids, near Cairo, Egypt.