Harambee Stars miss out on CHAN qualifiers

Harambee Stars during the FIFA World Cup qualifiers second-round match against Rwanda at the Nyayo National Stadium on November 15, 2021. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

The Kenya national team Harambee Stars have been locked out of the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers.

According to the schedule released by CECAFA, Kenya is not included in the qualifiers list with three North African giants in the name of Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia also sitting out of the qualifiers according to a CAF list of nations set for the draw.

Kenya is conspicuously missing from the list of nations that await the CAF 2022 African Nations Championship (CHAN) draw.

Kenya will however be handed a chance to participate in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations after being drawn against Burundi, Namibia and 2017 champions Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

The CHAN 2022 qualifiers will kick off in July 2022 to August in Ivory Coast with the tournament that was originally slated for this year pushed to 8th through 31 January 2023 in Algeria after the previous edition was pushed to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Interestingly, Zimbabwe who have also been suspended by FIFA are included in the draw.

The teams are clustered in 12 groups where the top two teams of each group qualify for the tournament automatically.

The Lions of Teranga (Senegal) holders of the trophy were placed into group L with Benin, Rwanda and Mozambique.

Nigeria and Ghana fall into groups largely within their reach, unlike South Africa which, in addition to their Zimbabwean neighbours, will have to face Morocco.

AFCON finalists Egypt will face Guinea.

Algeria, who fell against Cameroon in the FIFA World Cup qualifier, will face Tanzania and Uganda.

The Ivorians were placed in group H. The Elephants are already assured of participating in this competition as hosts.

Following their fantastic display in the last tournament, Comoros will be facing Ivory Coast, as well as Zambia, ten years after their defeat in the AFCON final against Herve Renard's Chipolopolos.

Teams Groups:

Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe or Mauritius

Group B: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini

Group C: Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi

Group D: Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia

Group E: Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic

Group F: Algeria, Uganda, Niger, Tanzania

Group G: Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan

Group H: Ivory Coast (hosts), Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho

Group I: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan

Group J: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana

Group K: Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia

Group L: Senegal (holders), Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda

Dates

May 30-June 14: Matchdays 1, 2

Sept 19-27: Matchdays 3, 4

March 20-28, 2023: Matchdays 5, 6

How teams qualify

Winners and runners-up for each group except H will qualify for the 24-team finals.

Ivory Coast will automatically qualify from Group H as tournament hosts.

Kenya and Zimbabwe were suspended by FIFA citing government interference with the running of the sport and will be allowed to compete only if they lift the ban by mid-May.‚Äč

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