The Confederation of African Football (Caf) 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Organising Committee has ruled that the final qualifiers next month would all be played simultaneously to avoid match fixing.
Twenty one matches will determine the last 10 teams that will join joint hosts Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Botswana and Ivory Coast for the 28th edition of the finals.
The last two places are reserved for the two best second-place finishers.
In making the announcement on Monday, Caf said in its official website:
“The Confederation of African Football has announced that the last matches of Orange Africa Cup of Nations 2012 qualifiers (match day 6) in each group will kick off at the same time as stated in article 4,3,3 of the competition regulations which stipulates that ‘The Organising Committee of the Africa Cup of Nations will be in charge of the fixing, after consulting the organizing associations, the dates, the venues and the time of kick-off of the matches.’
“Exact kick-off times will be communicated by Caf shortly after all concerned federations provide their preferences.”
For Zimbabwe, the big game will be against the Cape Verde Islands away in Group A where the top three teams can still qualify for the finals.
Mali leads the standings with nine points, the Warriors are second with eight points and the Cape Verde are on seven.
If Zimbabwe win and Liberia beat Mali, the Warriors will be through to the finals. If both Zimbabwe and Mali pick up one point, then the West Africans will qualify.
If the event that Cape Verde beat Zimbabwe and Liberia beat Mali, the finals ticket goes to the islanders.
In the event the islanders win and move to 10 points and Mali also draw, goal difference will be used to determine the group winner.
If the Warriors win and end the campaign on 11 points, in the event Mali also win, the Warriors will then be considered for one of the two positions for the best losers (best second-placed teams considering their results).
Meanwhile, the mascot for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations will be unveiled on Friday at a ceremony in Libreville, Gabon.
The unveiling of the mascot christened “GaGuie” is a major step towards the much anticipated kick-off of the 28th edition of the continent’s showpiece football tournament to be co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Caf honorary vice-president, Séyi Memène will represent Caf at the ceremony. Officials of the local organising committees of the two countries are also expected to be present at the historic ceremony.
The draw for the tournament will take place on Saturday, October 29 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The final tournament will be held from January 21 to February 12 2012.
Liberia – Mali
Cape Verde – Zimbabwe
Ethiopia – Madagascar
Nigeria – Guinea
Zambia – Libya
Mozambique – Comoros
Morocco – Tanzania
Algeria – Central Africa
Mauritius – Senegal
RD Congo – Cameroon
Gambia – Burkina Faso (one match only)
Egypt – Niger
South Africa – Sierra Leone
Benin – Rwanda
Ivory Coast – Burundi
Swaziland – Congo
Sudan – Ghana
Uganda – Kenya
Guinea Bissau – Angola
Chad – Malawi