Nigeria, who were winners at the 2013 ed8tion held in South Africa, infamously missed out on this year’s edition after failing to scale through the preliminary qualification round as South Africa and Congo picked the two slots from Group A.The draw will follow immediately after the announcement of the host nation for the tournament.The qualifiers for the 31st edition of the AFCON will begin this midyear in the FIFA international window from June 8-16.For the first time the host country will participate in the qualifying stages for the AFCON. However, the matches concerned will not count for any points in their group, and will instead be classified as friendlies.The field sees 52 teams which will be divided into 13 groups of four teams each. A four-tiered seeding system will see one team from each tier allocated per group.The top team in each group will qualify for the tournament finals, as well as the best two runners up excluding the group involving the host country, from which only one team will qualify.
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