- Associated Press - Thursday, January 22, 2015

BATA, Equatorial Guinea (AP) - The Confederation of African Football says it will announce who will replace Libya as host of the 2017 African Cup of Nations on April 8.

CAF also says the host nation will play games in the qualifying competition, although its matches will be friendlies and won’t have points on offer.

The qualifiers will begin in June, and the 52 competing countries will go straight into 13 groups of four teams each. The top team in each group and the two best second-place teams will qualify.

Libya withdrew as the 2017 host citing security concerns.

Egypt, Algeria, Gabon and Ghana are bidding to be the replacement host.

CAF also said Africa’s qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia will start in October.

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