Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

FOCUS

Many Turks angry over Syrian refugee situation

Read more

ENCORE!

Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday : The Best of the Bard

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

The Tour de France, a PR machine

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the third plane crash in one week - from France, Algeria and Burkina Faso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Coverage of the plane crash that took 116 lives - almost half of them French

Read more

  • Live: ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Wreckage of Algeria plane found in Mali

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

African nations on the road to World Cup 2010

Latest update : 2008-05-29

Twelve groups representing 47 African countries will start competing to qualify for 2010's football World Cup in South Africa. Only five will represent the continent. Eritrea withdrew from the competition.

The contest to produce five African representatives beside hosts and automatic qualifers South Africa at the 2010 World Cup begins in earnest this weekend with 23 second-round fixtures.
  
All 12 group winners plus the best eight runners-up advance to the third and final phase of a competition doubling as an elimination process for the African Nations Cup in Angola earlier the same year.
  
Some top second round seeds like Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Morocco and Tunisia are set for comfortable passages through the six-match programme, but there is no guarantee former World Cup qualifiers Senegal and Togo will join them.
  
  
Group 1

1. Cameroon, 2. Cape Verde Islands, 3. Tanzania, 4. Mauritius
  
Cameroon, runners-up to Egypt in the 2008 African Nations Cup, could field a reserve team and still finish first while Tanzania might pip Cape Verde Islands for second spot and the best Mauritius can hope for is some home points.
  
Verdict: Cameroon at a canter from Tanzania
  

  
Group 2
  
1. Guinea, 2. Zimbabwe, 3. Namibia, 4. Kenya
  
Potentially the most competitive pool with each country capable of beating the others. Guinea reached 2008 Nations Cup quarter-finals before imploding against Ivory Coast and playmaker Pascal Feindouno is a class act.
  
Verdict: Greater experience should see Guinea shade Zimbabwe
  

  
Group 3
  
1. Angola, 2. Benin, 3. Uganda, 4. Niger
  
Angola were shock qualifiers for 2006 World Cup at expense of Nigeria and they have unearthed a new star in Manchester United-bound striker 'Manucho'.  Little to separate hard-working but goal-shy Benin from improving Uganda.
  
Verdict: Angola should not be unduly troubled and Uganda can finish second
  

  
Group 4
  
1. Nigeria, 2. South Africa, 3. Equatorial Guinea, 4. Sierra Leone
  
Nigeria are favoured despite horror Nations Cup campaign in Ghana as they made meek last-eight exit to 10-man hosts. South Africa are poor travellers while home win over Cameroon confirmed that Equatorial Guinea are improving.
  
Verdict: Nigeria to continue dominance over likely runners-up South Africa
  

  
Group 5
  
1. Ghana, 2. Libya, 3. Gabon, 4. Lesotho
  
A more clinical attack could have lifted Ghana to at least second spot instead of third at recent Nations Cup and resignation of French coach Claude le Roy leaves them vulnerable against hyper-ambitious Libya, and Gabon.
  
Verdict: Ghana from Libya and Gabon, but could go down to the wire
  

  
Group 6
  
1. Senegal, 2. Algeria, 3. Liberia, 4. Gambia
  
Senegal have mere shadow of squad that took 2002 World Cup by storm as they reached quarter-finals. Algeria have also experienced better times, leaving Liberia as potential party poopers under young German coach Antoine Hey.
  
Verdict: Liberia could deprive Senegal or Algeria of third-round slot
  

  
Group 7
  
1. Ivory Coast, 2. Mozambique, 3. Botswana, 4. Madagascar
  
No contest on paper with Didier Drogba-inspired Ivory Coast on far higher plateau than modest rivals, the best of whom should be a Mozambique squad showing consistent improvement under Dutch coach Mart Nooij.
  
Verdict: Seeding appears spot on with Ivorians leading and Mozambicans next
  

  
Group 8
  
1. Morocco, 2. Ethiopia, 3. Rwanda, 4. Mauritania
  
Similar to previous group in that Morocco are hot favourites to come first, but do not write off even lowest seeds Mauritania in what could be an exciting tussle for second spot with poor away form hampering all three contenders.
  
Verdict: Morocco certain of top spot and Rwanda capable of coming second
  

  
Group 9
  
1. Tunisia, 2. Burkina Faso, 3. Burundi, 4. Seychelles
  
Tunisia may have qualified for last three World Cup tournaments, but they are battling to replace French coach Roger Lemerre with compatriots Bertrand Marchand and Jacques Santini saying 'non'. Luckily, they are in weak group.
  
Verdict: It must be Tunisia with Burkina Faso the best of the rest
  

  
Group 10
  
1. Mali, 2. Congo, 3. Sudan, 4. Chad
  
Only Chad can be discounted as Mali under Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi seek to improve on disastrous 2006 World Cup campaign against hard-to-beat Congo and a Sudan side capable of better than woeful 2008 Nations Cup showing.
  
Verdict: Mali from Sudan and Congo in close chase
  

  
Group 11
  
1. Togo, 2. Zambia, 3. Swaziland. Original third seeds Eritrea withdrew
  
Promises to be a shootout between shock 2006 World Cup qualifiers Togo and Zambia with Swaziland nowhere. Withdrawal of Eritrea means teams play two games less, leaving runners-up with little chance of making third round.
  
Verdict: Having to stage home games at neutral venue may count against Togo
  

  
Group 12
  
1. Egypt, 2. Democratic Republic of Congo, 3. Malawi, 4. Djibouti
  
Although Egypt won a record sixth Nations Cup title three months ago they dare not underestimate the talented if temperamental Congolese while Malawi have improved lately under new coach and former star Kinnah Phiri.
  
Verdict: Egypt to finish first followed by DR Congo
  

Date created : 2008-05-29

COMMENT(S)