The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has confirmed new dates of the qualifiers of the 32nd edition of the Total African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) to take place in Cameroon in 2019.
The CAF General Secretary Amr Fahmy said in a circular sent to Rwanda Football Federation (FERWAFA) on Tuesday afternoon that, “CAF has received several requests from some of the qualified teams to the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 to postpone the matches of the qualifiers of the African Cup of Nations scheduled in March 2018 to enable them play friendly matches as part of their preparation to the final tournament of the FIFA World Cup.”
“In order to support the African teams in the FIFA World Cup and to ensure the best possible representation of the African continent in the final tournament of the said competition, CAF Executive Committee has decided, during its meeting in Rabat, Morocco on the 16th of November 2017 to approve the said request.”
“Hence, the new dates of the qualifiers of the 32nd edition of the Total Afcon, Cameroon 2019 will be as shown,” said Fahmy in a statement.
According to the new development, Rwanda will face-off Cote d’Ivoire in Kigali on the second day of the 2019 Afcon Group H qualifiers between June 5 and 13, 2018.
The third and fourth day will be played between September 3 and 11, 2018 with Rwanda facing Guinea home and away respectively.
Rwanda will then host Central Africa Republic on day five in Kigali October 6-18, 2018 before concluding her continental quest against Cote d’Ivoire away to Abidjan on November 12-20 on day six.
Rwanda lost the opening game against Central Africa Republic away in Bangui losing 1-2 in June this year. Group leaders Guinea also stunned the 2015 champions Ivory Coast 3-2 in Abidjan. Ivory Coast and Rwanda are third and fourth, respectively, without a point.
Rwanda last participated in AFCON finals in 2004 in Tunisia. It was the first and only African Cup of Nations the National senior men football team Amavubi qualified for today.
The decision to move the Afcon qualifiers will free space for Nigeria, Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco to schedule friendly matches during the March international break as means of preparing for the 2018 Russia World Cup.
The five nations are set to play two friendly matches in March with the World Cup in Russia to kick-off in June.
2019 Afcon Qualifiers
Match Day 2, June 5-13, 2018
Guinea vs Central Africa
Rwanda vs Cote d’Ivoire
Match Day 3, September 3-11, 2018
Cote d’Ivoire vs Central Africa
Guinea vs Rwanda
Match Day 4, September 3-11, 2018
Central Africa vs Cote d’Ivoire
Rwanda vs Guinea
Match Day 5, October 8-16, 2018
Guinea vs Cote d’Ivoire
Rwanda vs Central Africa
Match Day 6, November 12-20, 2018
Central Africa vs Guinea
Cote d’Ivoire vs Rwanda