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Salone enters 2015 Nations Cup qualifiers

By Sahr Morris Jnr.

Leone Stars

The Sierra Leone national team, Leone Stars

Sierra Leone is amongst the 51 countries who have registered for the qualifying stages of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) revealed that only two of 54 African countries – Somalia and Djibouti – have opted not to enter the competition.

As hosts, Morocco qualifies automatically for the event which will be held next year from 15 January to 15 February. The Africa football governing body will meet on 24 January in Cape Town, South Africa to decide the format for the qualifiers.

However, the draw has been postponed from 31 January to April, at the same time as the draws for the African Champions League and African Confederation Cup group phase are to be done, and will take place in Morocco rather than in Cape Town.

It was originally intended to be held a day before the African Nations Championship final in Cape Town when the full CAF executive committee would be in town for meetings and to attend the deciding match on 1 February.

The qualifiers are being sandwiched into a three-month period after the 2014 World Cup and are divided into a preliminary round and group stage.