By Eyong Emilia
Guest writer, kick442.com-Cameroon
After the draw on Tuesday in Doha, for the first kick- off of the Arab Nations Cup, African champions Algeria is to clash with their arch rival Egypt in Group D of the tournament while Morocco will take on Asian giants Saudi Arabia in Group C and Tunisia will battle it out with the United Arab Emirates in group B.
The other African countries in the tournament will have to play a one leg qualifying match before getting to the group stage of the tournament.
FIFA has done the pairing for the qualifying matches as such; the 14 lowest ranked teams will participate in play-offs before the tournament. There after the seven winning teams will join the already qualified teams including Qatar.
Teams for the one match qualification has been paired as follows;
Oman – Somalia
Lebanon – Djibouti
Jordan – South Sudan
Bahrain – kuwait
Mauritania – Yemen
Palestine – Comoros
Libya – Sudan
The seven winners of the lowest ranked teams will join the 9 highest ranked, making a total of 16 teams which will then be classified as follows;
Oman or Somalia
Bahrain or kuwait
Mauritania or Yemen
Jordan or south Sudan
Palestine or Cosmos
Lebanon or Djibouti
Libya or Sudan
It is worth noting that, the four group winners and runners up will compete in the knockout stage.
That is the quarter finals,semifinals,third place play off and the finals.
The tournament will take place at almost the same time with the world cup 2022 in Qatar as this will serve as an opportunity to test facilities for the giant event come 2022.
Both finals of the Arab Nations cup and the world cup will be played on Qatar’s national day the 18th of December.