According to the African football governing body Caf which conducted the draw in Caro yesterday, the draw for the qualifiers is based on national associations’ affiliation to zonal distributions.
The Gambia is in West Africa Zone A with seven other nations.
There will be two rounds each for the qualifiers except for the Northern Zone, where the three teams will play one another on a round-robin basis with the top two qualifying for the final tournament to be staged in Rwanda.
This means that The Gambia will have to eliminate Senegal and move to eliminate Guinea or Liberia in the second round to make it to Rwanda.
The first leg of the preliminaries between the two will be played in Dakar on weekend of June 19-21, while the return leg shall be in Banjul on the weekend of June 3-6.
The Gambia’s Under-23 team coach Peter Bonu Johnson is the coach responsible for guiding the CHAN team too. Only last week he guided the national team of home based players to beat a professional loaded Mauritania side 1-0 in Banjul in a friendly. He will now have to face Joseph Koto’s men in June.
West A (2 slots): Guinea Bissau v Mali, Mauritania v Sierra Leone, Guinea v Liberia, Senegal v Gambia
West B (3 slots): Ghana v Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria v Burkina Faso, Niger v Togo
East Central (3 slots including the host): Tanzania v Uganda, Djibouti v Burundi, Ethiopia v Kenya. Sudan got bye in Round 1.
Central Zone (3 slots): DRC v Central Africa Republic, Cameroon v Congo, Chad v Gabon,
Southern Zone (3 slots): Zimbabwe v Comoros, Lesotho v Botswana, Namibia v Zambia, Mozambique v Seychelles, RSA v Mauritius, Swaziland v Angola
Northern Zone (2 slots): Libya, Morocco and Tunisia will play a mini league to determine the two top qualifiers.]]>