The Confederation of African Football (CAF) Executive Committee has approved the format of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, following its meeting they had on 14 January 2015. The host country of the 2017 edition shall be announced on 8 April 2015 after the CAF Ordinary General Assembly in Cairo, Egypt.
The qualifiers for the 31st edition of the Africa Cup of Nations will begin in June 2015 using the two dates fixed by FIFA, 08-16 June.
For the first time, the host country will participate in the qualifying stages; though the matches concerned will not be computed for points, they shall count as friendlies.
Fifty-two (52) teams will be engaged. They will be divided into 13 groups of 4 teams each. The first from each group shall qualify for the final stage, as well as the best two runners-up, exclusive of the group of the host country, which only one team will qualify.
Also, if due to the withdrawal of one team and a group happens to be left with just three teams, this group will not be considered when determining the best second team.
The Flames will know their way in the Competition after the draws for the groups to be done on 8 April 2015 in Cairo, immediately after the announcement of the host country of the 2017 edition.
Also, the CAF Executive Committee has approved the format for the qualifiers of the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted in Russia.
The competing teams will have to go through three preliminary rounds in order to bring the number of teams down to 20 so as to be able to constitute five (5) groups of four teams, where the first from each group will qualifier for the World Cup.
The preliminaries of the FIFA World Cup shall begin during the two FIFA dates in October 2015, given that the draws shall take place on 25 July 2015 at Saint-Petersburg in Russia.