Holders Egypt to face South Africa in qualifying

LUBUMBASHI - African Nations Cup holders Egypt were drawn with 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa in the same qualifying group for the next Nations Cup, to be co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in 2012.

The draw was conducted in Lubumbashi on Saturday ahead of Sunday's African Super Cup in the southern Congolese town.

Egypt won a record third Nations Cup title last month while South Africa failed to qualify for the tournament in Angola. Niger and Sierra Leone are the two other teams in Group Seven.

The continent's two economic superpowers have never been paired before in a qualifying group, either for the Nations Cup or World Cup.

Ghana, who were runners-up in Angola, got a decidedly easier draw with Congo, Swaziland and Sudan in Group Nine. Ghana beat Sudan home and away last year in their successful bid to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals.

The 11 group winners qualify for the 2012 finals along with the three best runners-up. The preliminaries will begin in September.