After missing the 2015 CAF African Cup of Nations currently taking place in Equatorial Guinea, the Super Eagles will be eager to qualify for the next edition scheduled for 2017.
With teams battling it out in Equatorial Guinea, Nigerian fans and the Super Eagles will surely want to be part of the next edition to ease the pain of the inability of the team to make it to the 30th edition of the competition.
But then, there is the small matter of qualifying for the apex African football tournament in a yet to be named venue.
Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced via s statement on its official website (www.cafonline.com) the format that for the qualifiers of the 31st edition of the competition which will begin in June 2015.
The body intends to use the FIFA windows of June 8-16 for the first batch of qualifiers as it also rolled out the modalities for qualifying.
For the first time, the hosts will also take part in the qualifiers, though points obtained from the matches will not be computed for but will count friendly matches
CAF also determined that 52 countries will be involved in the qualifiers that will be divided into 13 groups of four teams each.
The first team from each group will qualify for the final stage of the qualifiers as well as the best two runners up, exclusive of the group of the host country, which will provide only one country.
The football body also stated that if any team withdraws and a group is left with just three teams, the group will not be considering when picking the best second placed team.
CAF will hold the draws for the groups on April 8, 2015 in Cairo, Egypt as well as make an announcement of the next host of the AFCON.
Nigeria, who are the reigning African champions after winning the trophy in South Africa in 2013 failed qualify for this year’s edition from a group that had group winners South Africa, Congo and Sudan.