When the Caf Confederation Cup group stage draw kicks off on Saturday, there will be as much excitement as nervousness for eights teams whose names grace the glorious pots for the first time ever.
Set for Caf‘s headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, the procedure will draw football fans ever close to November’s final.
For Ghana’s Aduana Stars, Congolese side CARA Brazzaville, Williamsville of Cote d’Ivoire, UD Songo of Mozambique, El Masry of Egypt, Moroccan outfit RS Berkane, Kenya’s Gor Mahia and Rayon Sports of Rwanda, the event will be a first-time experience.
Malian side Djoliba, USM Alger of Algeria, Young Africans of Tanzania and Sudan’s El Hilal will also be involved, as will be former continental champions AS Vita of DR Congo, Raja Club Athletic of Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire’s ASEC Mimosas, Enyimba of Nigeria and CARA Brazzaville of Congo.
Ahead of the draw, all 16 clubs were ranked by their performances in the last five editions of Caf’s inter-club competitions, precisely between 2013 and 2017.
The top four – USM Alger, Al Hilal, AS Vita and Enyimba – made Pot 1 as the top seeds.
The remaining 12 sides then went into Pot 2.
Ultimately, the 16 teams will be distributed into four groups of four.
So how will the procedure unfold?
Pot 2 will be the first focus of attention as teams will be drawn into Groups A, B, C and D in that order, before the cycle starts again from A. The activity will continue until all 12 sides in the pot are exhausted.
For each club drawn, a separate draw will immediately follow to determine the position of the team in its group. Using Group A as an example, a team could be positioned A1, A2, A3 or A4 based on the outcome of the follow-up draw.
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Pot 1 will then have its turn, by which time three teams have already been drawn into each of the four groups.
The four seeded teams will be drawn into Groups A, B, C and D in that order. For each club drawn, a separate draw will immediately follow to confirm the position of the team in its group.
The draw is set for 12H00 GMT.