Cameroon handed easy route to 2025 AFCON.

Cameroon starting XI against Angola in 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers last month

The senior men’s national football team of Cameroon are considered to be on a favourable path to qualify for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, after they were handed a relatively easy draw. The Confederation of African Football, CAF, conducted the draw of the qualifying competition yesterday in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Cameroon has been drawn in Group J of the biennial continental soccer jamboree, alongside Namibia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.   

The Cameroon national team was among the 48 nations that were drawn into 12 groups of four teams each. 

The Indomitable Lions were lodged in Pot A, alongside other continental heavyweights like hosts nation, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and South Africa.

Cameroon’s rival, Namibia, was picked from Pot 2 of the draws, while Kenya and Zimbabwe were selected from Pot 3 and 4 respectively to complete the group. 

Analysts say it is a fairly easy group for the five-time African champions, who can be confident of getting the better of any of her group opponents. 

The Central African nation is the most experienced team in the group and highest ranked team on the FIFA classification. 

The Indomitable Lions are chasing a 22nd appearance at the AFCON. During their last participation in Cote d’Ivoire during the 2023 edition, they crashed out in the round of 16.

Sports analysts say Cameroon must tread with caution as their group opponents will not give up easily without a proper fight.

Namibia has in recent times proven to be a headache for the Cameroon national team. The South Western African nation almost denied the Indomitable Lions a place at the 2023 AFCON during the qualifiers. 

The Brave Warriors held Cameroon to a 1-1 draw in Yaounde in March 2023, before defeating the Lions 2-1 during the reversed fixture in South Africa.

Kenya and Zimbabwe shall be poised to return to the AFCON after missing out from the previous editions. 

Kenya lastly participated at the AFCON in 2019. The Harambee Stars failed to qualify for the 2021 edition and were disqualified from the 2023 tournament due to FIFA suspension.

Zimbabwe have been regulars at the AFCON. They qualified three successive consecutive AFCON tournament in 2017, 2019 and 2021 but were disqualified from taking part in the 2023 edition after been slammed a FIFA suspension.


Zoom into other pairings

There are other interesting pairings from yesterday’s draws. 

In Group A, Tunisia is paired alongside Madagascar, Comoros and Gambia. 

In Group B, Morocco takes on Gabon, Central Africa Republic and Lesotho. Egypt shall face Cape Verde, Mauritania and Botswana in Group C. 

In group D, rivalries shall be renewed when Nigeria takes on Benin. Libya and Rwanda complete the group.

Elsewhere in Group E, Algeria shall challenge Equatorial Guinea, Togo and Liberia, while reigning African champions, Cote d’Ivoire, must overcome Group G rivals, Zambia, Sierra Leone and Chad if they to defend their title.

Group H is made up of Mali, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau and Eswatini. In Group K, there is South Africa, Uganda, Congo and South Sudan and Group L comprises of Senegal, Burkina Faso, Malawi and Burundi.

CAF legends, representatives of the participating teams, and members of the Local Organising Committee, LOC, for the 2025 AFCON amongst others attended yesterday’s draws ceremony.

The qualifiers will start in September 2024 and end in November 2024. The first and runners-up in the eleven groups that do not involve the tournament hosts, Morocco, will gain qualification to the competition.

The Confederation of African Football had confirmed that the 2025 AFCON will take place in Morocco. 

CAF announced that the opening match of the biennial continental competition will take place on December 21, 2025, while the final match will be played on January 18, 2026.



This story was first published in The Guardian Post Issue No:3159 of Friday July 5, 2024

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