The draw of the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) will be held this evening in Accra, Ghana.
Hosts Ghana and reigning champions Nigeria have been named as top seeds ahead of the draw. The Black Queens are seeded in Group A with position A1, whilst Nigeria headlines Group B by virtue of being holders of the trophy. They are the most successful team in the history of the biennial competition having won it eight times. Their position will be B1.
The final tournament will be held in the Ghanaian cities of Accra and Cape Coast from 17 November to 1 December 2018 with the top three finishers will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.
Equatorial Guinea were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player, paving way for Harambee Starlets to feature in the tournament for the second time. They debut in 2016 but suffered three humiliating defeats. They hope to do better this time and have appealed to the Ministry of Sport for financial support to aid in preparing the team.
Kenya’s delegation will however be conspicuously missing at the draw tonight.
Conventionally, all competitors are supposed to be present when the draw is being done, but the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has told Nation Sport that no one from the federation will be in Accra when the Confederation of African Football (Caf) conducts the draw.
“No official from Football Kenya Federation will attend the Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations draw tonight in Ghana. It was too fast,” FKF President Nick Mwendwa said on Sunday morning.
The draw is coming just five days after Kenya replaced Equatorial Guinea, which was disqualified for fielding an eligible player during the second round qualifying matches against Harambee Starlets.
Kenya, which has not started training nor unveiled its provisional squad, will know her pool and opponents from the list of Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Algeria, Mali and Zambia.
The eight countries will be divided into two groups of four teams each.