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CAF to announce 2017 AFCON hosts in April

AFCON EQUTORIAL GUINEEA LOGO

BATA, Equatorial Guinea, January 23 – The Confederation of African Football (CAF) revealed on Thursday that the hosts for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations will be announced on April 8 in Cairo, Egypt.

According to the continental football body, there are four candidates to host the competition, with Algeria, Egypt, Gabon and Ghana all competing to replace strife-riven Libya, who will not go ahead with their hosting of the finals.

The qualifying tournament will begin in June with the host nation taking part for the first time, although their matches will be considered as friendlies and will not count for points.

The draw for the qualifying competition will also take place on April 8 in Cairo.

A total of 52 teams will enter the qualifiers and will be divided into 13 groups, with the winners advancing to the finals as well as the two best runners-up.

The CAF have already confirmed that the 2019 finals will be held in Cameroon, with the Ivory Coast staging the 2021 finals and Guinea 2023.

CAF also announced on Thursday that the 2018 World Cup qualifiers will begin in October.

There will be three preliminary rounds in order to whittle the number of teams down to 20, who will then be divided into five groups of four teams each.

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The winners of these five groups will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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