CHANCE FOR CRANES

CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2025 draw path excites Ugandans

Uganda were placed in Group K alongside South Africa, Congo Brazzaville, and South Sudan.

In Summary

•The top two teams from each of the 11 groups, along with host Morocco, will automatically qualify for the AFCON 2025, which will take place in Morocco from December 21, 2025, to January 18, 2026.

•Uganda last participated in AFCON in 2019 in Egypt, where they reached the round of 16.

Murushid Juuko of Uganda Cranes challenges Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga in a past match
Murushid Juuko of Uganda Cranes challenges Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga in a past match
Image: FILE

Ugandan football enthusiasts are brimming with excitement following the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2025 qualifiers draw conducted on Thursday.

In the draw, organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Uganda were placed in Group K alongside South Africa, Congo Brazzaville, and South Sudan.

The top two teams from each of the 11 groups, along with host Morocco, will automatically qualify for the AFCON 2025, which will take place in Morocco from December 21, 2025, to January 18, 2026.

Many Ugandans have received the draw news with enthusiasm, seeing it as a promising opportunity for the national team to return to Africa's premier football tournament.

Uganda last participated in AFCON in 2019 in Egypt, where they reached the round of 16.

Fred Obbo, a national team supporter, expressed his optimism in an interview with Xinhua at Lugogo Indoor Stadium.

"I am so happy about this draw because we have a good young team that can beat all the other three teams," he said.

Another fan, Sarah Namayanja, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the importance of preparation and understanding their opponents.

"With good preparations and trying to learn a lot about the three opponents, Uganda Cranes have a huge chance of qualifying. We need to make sure the national team makes a good start in the qualifiers, which will set a good momentum," she told Xinhua.

Uganda are expected to start their campaign with an away match against South Africa, followed by hosting Congo Brazzaville in the second group match at the newly renovated Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, later in the same month.

Jimmy Kiyimba, another football fan, highlighted the importance of thorough preparation despite the favourable draw.

"These days, teams have improved globally, and some of the teams that are not highly ranked are fond of causing upsets. But I think we have a good chance," he added.

The qualifiers, which will commence in September and conclude in November 2024, also include other notable teams such as reigning champions Cote d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Madagascar, Comoros, the Gambia, Morocco, Gabon, Central African Republic, Lesotho, Egypt, Cape Verde, Mauritania, and Botswana.