Fixtures for the 2018 African Nations Championship that will be held in Kenya have been released by the Confederation of African Football.

First round matches will be held in July 2017 on a two-legged, knock-out bases with the winners advancing to the second round that will be contested in August 2017.

Countries have been grouped in five zones – West A, West B, Central Zone, Central East and Southern.

Kenya, who fight for qualification from Central East Zone, are hosts of the next championship and thus automatically qualify for the biennial showpiece contested by players based in their home country leagues.

Defending champions Democratic Republic of Congo have been drawn against Congo Republic.

2018 African Nations Championship qualifiers

Round one (July 11-20, 2017):

West A Zone – Sierre Leon v Senegal, Ginea Bissau v Guinea, Liberia v Mauritania, Gambia v Mali

West B Zone – Togo v Benin

Central Zone – Equatorial-Guinea v Gabon, Congo v Congo DR, Sao Tome E Prencipe v Cameroon

Southern Zone – Madagascar v Malwai, Mauritius v Seychelles