NAIROBI, April 8 – Harambee Stars chances of qualifying for the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations appear bleak on paper after Kenya were drawn in a tough Pool E alongside 2012 winners Zambia, Congo Brazzaville and Guinea Bissau.
Kenya will compete in the continental tournament for the first time in two years after being bundled out in the pre-qualifiers for last year’s competition by minnows Lesotho.
Stars will be attempting to return to Afcon for the first time over a decade with only top finisher in the group qualifying and two best losers.
Head coach Bobby Williamson who has been handling the national Under-23 side will assemble his local based charges for the Africa Nation Championships qualifier against Ethiopia before preparing for Afcon.
The two legged fixtures will begin June.
Neighbours Uganda have once again been drawn in a relatively winnable Group D alongside 2013 finalist Burkina Faso, Botswana and Comoros while Tanzania will face 2013 winners Nigeria, five time champions Egypt and Chad.
Champions Ivory Coast will take on Sudan, Sierra Leone and hosts Gabon as Ghana battle it out with Mozambique, Rwanda and Mauritius.
Group A: Tunisia, Togo, Liberia, Djibouti
Group B: Madagascar, DRC, Angola, CAR
Group C: Mali, Equatorial Guinea, Benin, South Sudan
Group D: Burkina Faso, Uganda, Botswana, Comoros
Group E: Zambia, Congo, Kenya, Guinea Bissau
Group F: Cape Verde, Morocco, Libya, Sao Tome
Group G: Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Chad
Group H: Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda, Mauritius
Group I: Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Gabon
Group J: Algeria, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Seychelles
Group K: Senegal, Niger, Nambia, Burundi
Group L: Guinea, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland
Group M: Cameroon, South Africa, Gambia, Mauritania