Kazura, Tucak in Zurich for World Cup draws
As all, save for two East and Central African countries are licking their wounds after a disastrous 2010 World/Africa Cup qualifying campaign, Rwanda and Sudan are basking in glory after being the only teams in the region to make it through to the final qualification round.
Rwanda and 19 other African nations will be in the pot when the draws for the 2010 World Cup/Nations Cup third round qualifiers are made today at Fifa’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
At the draws Rwanda will be represented by Ferwafa president Brig. Gen John Bosco Kazura and national team coach Branko Tucak. The pair was expected to leave for Zurich last evening.
Countries joining Rwanda in the draws include Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia, Sudan, Zambia, Guinea and Mozambique.
2010 World Cup hosts South Africa and 2002 World Cup quarter-finalists Senegal are the notable absentees after failing to progress past the previous round.
South Africa, who are assured of an automatic slot at the 2010 World Cup were chasing for a berth in the 2010 Nations Cup in Angola.
Despite an awful campaign, Angola has an automatic slot in the African tournament that kicks off five months ahead of the World Cup as hosts.
The 20 countries are going to be drawn in five pools of four and at the end of the qualifying campaign; the top country from each pool will join South Africa at the World Cup while the top three in each pool will progress to the Nations Cup.
Rwanda has been seeded fourth for the draws while the top five countries on the continent, according to the recent Fifa rankings, are listed as the top seeds.
Rwanda progressed to the third round as one of the eight best second-placed.
The draws for the third stage will see the top seeds head the groups that will be composed of four teams each.
And for the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, the top three countries from each group will qualify for the continental tournament, making fifteen teams (plus hosts Angola.)
The 2010 World Cup will be a special event for Africa as the continent plays host to the biggest tournament in world football for the first time in its history.
The competition will take place in South Africa and though the destination is close to home, the road to the finals for African nations is long and winding.
Pot 1: Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria.
Pot 2: Algeria, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Tunisia.
Pot 3: Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Kenya, Zambia.
Pot 4: Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sudan, Togo.