Sort out your mess or miss out on AFCON 2023 - CAF tell Kenya

Kenya has until July to get rid of their suspension from international football

Boys enter with Kenya's national flag before the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier football match between Kenya and Mali at Nyayo national stadium in Nairobi on October 10, 2021. (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

Confederation of African Football (CAF) has warned Harambee Stars that they risk missing out on participating in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations if they fail to lift their recent suspension by July.

"In case the suspension is not lifted two weeks before the match day of the qualifiers, Kenya and Zimbabwe associations will be considered as losers and eliminated from the competition," read the statement in part.

The 33rd edition of the continental showpiece - is set to take place between June and July of next year in the Ivory Coast.

The qualifying group draw is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 19. The qualifiers will kick off in July this year with the final set of matches set to be played in March 2023.

On Tuesday, April 12 four pots based on the latest FIFA ranking were unveiled by CAF ahead of the draw. The 48 contenders for the final phase of the AFCON 2023 will divided into 12 groups of four teams.

  • Pot 1: Senegal, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Cameroon, Algeria, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire (host), Burkina Faso, Ghana and DR Congo.
  • Pot 2: Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Gabon, Benin, Zambia, Congo, Madagascar, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Uganda
  • Pot 3: Namibia, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Libya, Mozambique, Malawi, Togo, Zimbabwe, Gambia, Angola and Comoros
  • Pot 4: Tanzania, Central African Republic, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, Liberia, South Sudan, Sao Tome & Principe.

The continental football body said Kenya and Zimbabwe cannot be drawn in the same group to avoid one group remaining with only two teams if the suspension is not lifted by then.

The first two matchdays of the qualifiers are set to take place between May 30 and June 14. Match days three and four will then be held between September 19 and 27. The final two rounds will then take place between March 20 and 28, 2023.

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