Sierra Leone, along with eight other African nations, has been placed in Pot 4 for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, set to commence in November this year.
Joining Sierra Leone in Pot 4 are Mozambique, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic, Malawi, and Libya.
What this means is that Sierra Leone National Team, Leone Stars will not be placed in the same group with the countries listed above since they are in same Pot.
However, they could possibly face AfCON Champions, Senegal or runners-up Egypt who are both in Pot 1.
They could also face next door neighbours, Guinea and Liberia who are placed in Pot 2 and 6 respectively.
The African football governing body, CAF said qualifiers for the competition will start this November after countries have been placed to groups.
The qualifiers will also see the inauguration of a new format with addition of four teams at the finals which will take place in the US, Canada and Mexico in 2026.
“The new format, which was approved by the Executive Committee of CAF during its meeting in Algiers on Thursday, will see the 54 member Associations divided into nine groups of six teams each,” CAF said.
This means that there will be six teams in a group rather than the usual four.
The football regional body said group leaders will gain automatic promotion after matchday 10 with four best runners-up to play against each other in a Continental paly-off.
The winner will also have to play against five other teams from other continents.
This could see Africa have 10 teams participate in 48-team tournament to be staged in North America.
While Sierra Leone have partook in three AfCON competitions, the World Cup is still a dream for the West African nation.
With non participation in next year’s AfCON a reality after narrowly losing to Nigeria in matchday five, the local population expects their country to focus on the World Cup Qualifiers.