Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Afcon 2023 Qualifiers: Super Eagles begin campaign against Sierra Leone

21:44 EAT 20/04/2022
Musa Noah Kamara Ivory Coast vs Sierra Leone Africa Cup of Nations 2021
The three-time African kings will commence their race for a ticket to Cote d’Ivoire against the Leone Stars

The Nigeria senior national team will kick off their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign against Sierra Leone, the Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed.

The Super Eagles learned their opponents en route to qualifying for the biennial football showpiece billed for Cote d’Ivoire.

According to the draw held on Tuesday in Johannesburg which was steered by the Confederation of African Football director of competitions Samson Adamu and assisted by South African football great Lucas Radebe and former Chelsea star Salomon Kalou, the three-time African kings were zoned in Group A alongside the Leone Stars, Guinea Bissau as well as Sao Tome and Principe.

In a press release made available to GOAL, the NFF stated that the country will host John Keister’s side before heading to Sao Tome and Principe.

The window for these two matches is between May 30 to June 14, 2022.

With the window for Matchdays 3 and 4 being 19th – 27th of September, the 2013 African Kings will try the Wild Dogs of Guinea for size home and away.

The last two matches are within the period of March 20th to 28th, 2023. There, Nigeria will head to Freetown for their reverse fixture against Sierra before returning home for their last encounter against Sao and Príncipe or Mauritius.

Meanwhile, Mauritius have a pending protest against Sao Tome and Príncipe, who won their preliminary qualifying fixture. 

The Dodos insisted that one of Sao Tome’s players had tested positive for Covid-19. Should they win their appeal, Adriano Eusebio’s team would be thrown out of the competition for Mauritius. 

The two top placed teams in each of the twelve groups at the end of the campaign will qualify for the 34th Afcon billed for the West African nation.

Hosts Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Zambia, Comoros and Lesotho even though they have already secured their place in the tournament which means only one other team from their group will qualify for the competition.

Notwithstanding if the suspension placed on Kenya and Zimbabwe is not lifted two weeks before their first matchday of the qualifiers, both associations will be considered losers and eliminated from the competition.