Ghana’s Black Stars will find out their opponent when the final qualifying round draw for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa is made Thursday. Representatives from all the competing nations, including Ghana Football Association President Kwesi Nyantakyi will be present for the draw at a cafe in a huge entertainment complex near Johannesburg international airport.
The draw for the final round will split 30 countries into 15 home-and-away ties with the winners joining hosts, South Africa, who are automatic qualifiers for the Nations Cup. The Black Stars, four-time champions are one of the 15 seeded nations which includes Zambia, Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan and Tunisia.
The unseeded countries are Botswana, Cape Verde Islands, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Apart from pairing off the countries, there will be a separate draw to decide which one has home advantage first in the final round scheduled for the weekends of September 7-9 and October 12-14 this year. Next year’s finals will mark the last time that the Nations Cup will be held in even-number years since Ethiopia staged the 1968 finals.
The competition switches to uneven-number years from 2013 to avoid every second tournament being staged in the same year as a World Cup.