Uganda Cranes to Open World Cup Qualifiers with Guinea

Uganda Cranes will start the 2025 World Cup Qualifiers Campaign with an away clash against Guinea, according to the fixtures released.

The two games will be played between 13th to 21st November 2023. The Cranes who have never featured at the World Cup were recently pitted in group G alongside Guinea, Algeria, Mozambique, Botswana, and Somalia with whom they will compete to secure a spot in the next World Cup.

In the previous World Cup qualifiers, Uganda secured the second position in Group E, narrowly missing out on advancement as Mali progressed to the playoff round, which ultimately did not take place.

After the Guinea match, the Cranes will face Somalia and later host Botswana and Algeria between 03rd to 11th March 2024 according to FUFA President Moses Magogo. The two home games will be held at Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.

This 23rd edition of the World Cup tournament will have 48 participating countries instead of the conventional 32. This means that African teams as well as teams from the other confederations will secure more slots for the tournament which will be jointly hosted by Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico.

After getting assured of an increase in the number of African countries in the World Cup, the Confederation of African Football-CAF altered the previous qualifying procedure at its Executive Committee meeting in Algiers. Now, 54 countries were seeded in six pots before being randomly placed in nine groups, each with six teams.

The leading team from each of the nine groups will earn an automatic qualification for the World Cup. The four strongest runners-up will engage in an African playoff, with the winners progressing to the inter-confederation playoffs scheduled for March 2026.

Additionally, one team from each of FIFA’s six confederations, excluding UEFA, will participate in the FIFA play-off competition, alongside a team from the host confederation, Concacaf.

Despite a noticeable performance decline over the past three years since their last appearance in the 2019 AFCON has been clearly visible, Moses Magogo, the President of Uganda’s Football Association, has remained steadfast in his ultimate goal of qualifying for the grandest stage of their all – the FIFA World Cup.

Meanwhile, the fixtures come at a time when Uganda Cranes is in a residential camp preparing for the final qualifier group match away to Niger on 7th September 2023.

With only one game left in the ongoing AFCON qualification campaign, Uganda will have to defeat Niger with a slightly more substantial goal margin as they also hope that Algeria defeats Tanzania by an even larger goal margin.

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