AFCON 2025 Qualifiers: Bafana Bafana get kind draw

South Africa will not face any of the African giants in the qualifying phase for next year’s tournament

Bafana Bafana have landed a kind draw in the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

South Africa, who were in Pot 1, avoided all the giants of African football as they were pooled in Group K alongside Uganda, Congo Brazzaville and South Sudan during the draw conducted in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Bafana Bafana will seek to seal their ticket early with expectations high this time after their impressive run in the 2023 tournament when they finished third.

Uganda represents the biggest threat in the group given they are the highest ranked nation in East Africa while Congo have struggled to assert themselves on the continent.

South Sudan, meanwhile, have never made it to the AFCON although there have been improvements recently.

South Africa must be prepared for long away trips

What will worry coach Hugo Bross is the miles his team will have to travel to honour the fixtures as they will make long trips to East Africa as well as a visit to Central Africa for their away matches.

Given the quality of South Africa, expectations will be high that they will not struggle to secure qualification as two top teams in each group will earn a ticket to next year’s tournament in Morocco.

The qualifiers are scheduled to start in September where the first two matches will be played followed by two more in October before the final round is in November 2024.

Next year’s tournament will be played in Morocco from December 21, 2025 to January 18, 2026 owing to the expanded 32-team FIFA Club World Cup, scheduled between June 15 and July 13, 2025, in the United States.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.