The Super Eagles of Nigeria are billed to start a fresh attempt to be back at the Africa Cup of Nations by June 2015.
The Eagles sadly missed out on the 2015 edition ongoing in Equatorial Guinea and the Confederation of African Football, CAF, has now announced that Nigeria and rest of the continent are to brace up for fresh round of qualifiers for the 2017 AFCON.
According to a statement on CAF’s official website, the qualifiers for the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will begin in June 2015 using the two dates fixed by FIFA, 08-16 June.
The host for the 2017 AFCON is yet to be decided but the African football ruling body assured that the country shall be announced on April 8, 2015 after the CAF Ordinary General Assembly in Cairo, Egypt.
CAF explained that for the first time, the host country will participate in the qualifying stages; though the matches concerned will not be computed for points, they shall count as friendlies.
Fifty-two teams will be engaged. They will be divided into 13 groups of four teams each. The first from each group shall qualify for the final stage, as well as the best two runners-up, exclusive of the group of the host country, which only one team will qualify.
It went on to state that if due to the withdrawal of one team and a group happens to be left with just three teams, this group will not be considered when determining the best second team.
The draws for the groups shall be done on April 8, 2015 in Cairo, immediately after the announcement of the host country of the 2017 edition.