BY Kevin Mapasure
The Warriors face the prospect of a tough Africa Cup of Nations finals Group after they were placed in pot 4 in the draw that will be conducted in Cairo this evening.
Zimbabwe, ranked number 19 in Africa, are in the pot that contains the least-seeded teams alongside Namibia, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Tanzania and Burundi.
The Confederation of African Football (Caf) executive committee at its meeting in Cairo, Egypt yesterday approved the draw procedure for the tournament.
The pots and seedings of the 24 qualifying teams were decided based on the latest Fifa World Cup rankings (released on April 4 2019), which is globally accepted and portrays a true reflection of the state of the teams that have qualified.
Hosts Egypt, holders Cameroon, Tunisia, Nigeria and Morocco are all in pot 1, while the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast and Algeria are in pot 2.
Neighbours South Africa, Madagascar, Uganda Kenya and Mauritania are all in pot 3.
It is possible that Zimbabwe can drawn against Bafana Bafana or the DRC whom they played in the qualifiers.
Hosts Egypt will be placed in Group A before the draw commences and the procedure will see the bottom seeds all getting allocated in the groups followed by teams in pot three, two and finally one.
The best case scenario would be probably Zimbabwe being placed alongside Madagascar from pot 3 and DRC in pot 2.
In such a scenario whoever they draw from pot 1 would not be a big concern considering two teams progress to the next stage from each pool.
Having collected four points from DRC in the qualifiers, Zimbabwe would fancy their chances against them as well as against Madagascar, who have, however, greatly improved.
The toughest prospect would probably see Zimbabwe in the same group as Egypt, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
Zimbabwe will be making their fourth appearance at the Afcon finals where they have never managed to progress from the group stages.
Last time the Warriors, under the guidance of Kalisto Pasuwa, tumbled out after collecting one point in a pool that also contained Algeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
Zifa have demanded that the team should at least reach the quarter-finals this time around.
Afcon draw seedings
POT 1 Egypt, Cameroon, Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Morocco
POT 2: DR Congo, Ghana, Mali, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Algeria
POT 3: South Africa, Uganda, Benin, Mauritania, Madagascar, Kenya
POT 4: ZIMBABWE, Namibia, Guinea Bissau, Angola, Tanzania, Burundi