3 September 2013
The 16-team field for next year’s African Nations Championship (CHAN) was confirmed after the final round of qualifying was completed on the weekend. South Africa will host the tournament from 11 January to 1 February 2014.
CHAN will feature African national teams made up entirely of players from the domestic leagues of the different countries.
As hosts, South Africa qualified automatically for the event. Bafana Bafana will be joined from the Southern Zone by Zimbabwe, who booked their place with a win over Zambia, and Mozambique, who defeated Angola.
The other participants will be Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Congo, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia and Uganda.
The draw for the tournament finals will take place at the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf’s) headquarters in Cairo, Egypt on 18 September.
The teams will be divided into four groups of four, with the CHAN organising committee set to determine the four seeded teams based on the rankings of those countries.
Matches will be played at the Cape Town and Athlone Stadiums in Cape Town, the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein, and the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
“The strong determination and tenacity displayed during the gruelling qualifying stages of the tournament guarantees us that we will without a doubt experience a mouth-watering and historical CHAN 2014,” local organising committee (LOC) chairperson Mwelo Nonkonyane said in a statement on Monday.
“We also want to give special congratulations to Mauritania who, for the first time in their history, have qualified for a continental cup competition.”
Committee CEO Mvuzo Mbebe said he was confident that the quality of the 16 teams would encourage South Africans to rally behind the tournament.
“Now that we know the teams coming next year, we encourage South Africans to unite behind this tournament and help us make it a success, as they always do when the country is tasked with hosting mega events,” Mbebe said.