The Caf Executive Committee has approved a new format to qualify teams for CAN 2013 which will take place in Libya. The new knockout format replaces the group stage one following Caf’s decision to change finals from even years to odd years.
The decision was announced on Thursday following a week of Caf meetings in Cairo.
All countries that do not qualify for the Orange CAN Gabon – Equatorial Guinea 2012 will play a first round eliminatory, with direct elimination, with a view to finding fifteen teams. The first round matches will take place from January 15, 2012 to February 15, 2012.
However, if the number of teams involved exceeds 45, a preliminary round would be organised. In this case, the criteria for the teams to undergo a preliminary round will depend on Fifa rankings.
The second round of qualifiers, also through direct elimination, will witness the fifteen qualified teams of the first round qualifiers to play against the fifteen teams (except Libya, host country of the 2013 edition and by consequence already qualified) that would have participated at the 2012 CAN, after complete draws. The 2015 CAN will go back to its normal system of groups.