The Sierra Leone national team, nicknamed the Leone Stars, were drawn into Group G for the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers today.

The draw, which took place at SuperSport Studios in South Africa, saw the Leone Stars placed alongside some familiar and formidable opponents.

Group G promises to be a highly competitive pool. The Leone Stars will face off against the seasoned veterans of Ivorian football, Côte d’Ivoire, who boast two AFCON titles. Zambia, another team with a rich footballing history and a continental championship trophy to their name, will also be looking to challenge for top spot. Rounding out the group is Chad, a team on the rise who will be eager to cause an upset.

The Leone Stars failed to qualify for the 2023 AFCON in Ivory Coast, finishing third in their group. However, they will be hoping to learn from that experience and mount a strong challenge in this qualifying campaign. Coach Abdul Karim will be looking to build a team that can compete against these established teams and secure a place in the 2025 tournament finals in Morocco.

The qualifying group stage will be played across three international windows in September, October, and November of 2024. The top two teams from each group will progress to the AFCON finals, where they will join host nation Morocco.

The Leone Stars will be aware of the tough task ahead, but they will also be looking forward to the challenge. With a passionate fanbase behind them and a determined squad, they will be hoping to create some surprises in Group G.