Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Cranes head coach Milutin Micho Sredojevic will be hoping for a fair draw for the group stage of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations 2023 (AFCON) qualifiers.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) will conduct the draws later tonight in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Uganda who last played in the 2019 AFCON are placed in Pot 2 ahead of the draw as per the latest FIFA ranking of March 31st, 2022. The other teams in Pot 2 include Cape Verde, South Africa, Guinea, Gabon, Benin, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Congo.
The top teams are placed in Pot 1 with the likes of Senegal, Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Algeria, Mali, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and DR Congo. Uganda Cranes will face at least one opponent from Pot 1.
Sredojević says his side is prepared to face any opponent. He however says preferably he would not wish to meet one of the Arab countries in the qualifiers.
Other teams that the coach finds challenging, but Uganda could possibly meet include neighbors Rwanda which is in Pot 4, Gambia, and Libya which are both in Pot 3.
Despite having a good start in the 2021 Afcon qualifiers, Uganda Cranes fell to Burkina Faso and Malawi and missed a slot in the 2021 edition of the continental championship.
In their preparations early this year, Uganda Cranes have held several build-up games both locally and internationally including taking part in the Navruz Cup in Uzbekistan which coach Sredojevic says has helped him to assess his team before taking part in the qualifiers later in June.
According to CAF, the first two group matches will be played between May and June, while two more matches will be played in September and the next two in March 2023.