There will be a preliminary round to reduce the field to 48 teams - for this round, the FIFA ranking will be used to seed the teams.
The for group stage draw, the CAF rankings will be used for seeding.
The winner from each of the 12 groups will qualify for a place in the final tournament in Morocco along with the 3 best second placed teams.
These are the CAF rankings, based on performance in the last 3 tournaments:
Points are awarded in this fashion:
7 - winner
5 - finalist
3 - semifinalists
2 - quarterfinalists
1 - teams eliminated in the group stage
Points from the most recent tournament are multiplied by 3, the next one by 2, the last one by 1.
If two or more teams have the same total, they will be ranked on the total number of points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw).
|13||Cape Verde Islands||0||0||2||6|
Looking at the July ranking, this is how the preliminary round would look:
Pot 1: Swaziland, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Madagascar, Comoros
Pot 2: Eritrea, South Sudan, Seychelles, Somalia, Djibouti
The group stage draw:
Pot 1: Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Tunisia, Egypt, Angola, Togo, Algeria, South Africa
Pot 2: Cape Verde Islands, Gabon, Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Congo DR, Ethiopia, Guinea, Libya, Cameroon, Senegal, Botswana
Pot 3: Malawi, Benin, Mozambique, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Congo, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya
Pot 4: Namibia, Rwanda, Chad, Lesotho, Gambia, Sao Tome e Principe, Mauritania and 5 winners from the preliminary round
Malawi, Uganda and Congo stand out as the teams to avoid in pot 3.
The top 2 pots are already set in stone, as we have 27 teams in the CAF rankings (Morocco not included as hosts). The remaining teams will most likely be sorted using the most recent FIFA rankings (as they did for the 2010 qualifying draw).
Assuming the top teams in the CAF rankings advance to the final tournament, this is how the pots would look like:
Pot 1: Morocco, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia
Pot 2: Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Tunisia
Pot 3: Egypt, Angola, Togo, Algeria
Pot 4: South Africa, Cape Verde Islands, Gabon, Niger
Possible group of death: Nigeria/Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, South Africa.