JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Zimbabwe were pooled with South Africa, Morocco and Liberia in Group K of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers during a draw conducted in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.
Zimbabwe’s participation in the tournament will depend on the country getting a FIFA ban for government interference lifted. The Confederation of African Football included both Zimbabwe and Kenya in the draw on condition they get their bans lifted by next month, at least two weeks before the fixtures get underway on May 30.
The 2023 Nations Cup will be hosted by the Ivory Coast in May and June next year.
The draw was conducted by South Africa and Leeds United legend Lucas Radebe and former Ivory Coast and Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou.
The top two finishers in the group qualify for the 24-team tournament.
Zimbabwe, who failed to qualify for the 2022 Afcon in Cameroon, won by Senegal, recently faced South Africa during the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, losing 1-0 away and drawing 0-0 at home.
Morocco’s only Afcon title came in 1976 and their best finish since was second in 2004.
2023 AFCON Qualifiers Draw
Group A: Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome e Principe or Mauritius
Group B: Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Togo, Eswatini
Group C: Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Burundi
Group D: Egypt, Guinea, Malawi, Ethiopia
Group E: Ghana, Madagascar, Angola, Central African Republic
Group F: Algeria, Uganda, Niger, Tanzania
Group G: Mali, Congo Brazzaville, Gambia, South Sudan
Group H: Ivory Coast (hosts), Zambia, Comoros, Lesotho
Group I: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Mauritania, Sudan
Group J: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Botswana
Group K: Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Liberia
Group L: Senegal (holders), Benin, Mozambique, Rwanda