Record seven-time winners Egypt are among the second seeds for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw to be made in host country Morocco this weekend.

Egypt won the maiden edition of the premier African football competition in Khartoum 56 years ago and between 2006 and 2010 became the first nation to win three consecutive tournaments.

But the Pharaohs failed to even qualify for the Africa Cup in 2012 and 2013 as the effects of political upheaval in post-Arab Spring Egypt took its toll on football.

Domestic football was shut down for a year from last February after post-match rioting in Port Said between fans of local club Al Masry and Cairo giants Al Ahly claimed 74 lives.

Most fixtures involving the national team were played in the Middle East and Ahly and other Egyptian clubs involved in CAF club competitions had to play behind closed doors for security reasons.

However, a win away to Guinea in a 2014 World Cup qualifier suggests a team of veterans like goalkeeper Essam Al Hadary and emerging talents like midfielder Mohamed Al Neny is on the rise again under American coach Bob Bradley.

Cameroon, winners of the tournament four times between 1984 and 2002, former champions Algeria, and star-stacked Senegal are other teams in the unaccustomed position of being second seeds.

The fall of the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon from perennial title challengers to non-qualifiers for the last two championships is reflected by 19th place in the latest FIFA Africa rankings.

Cape Verde, a nation of 10 islands off Senegal with a population of 500 000, stunned Cameroon in the 2013 qualifiers, went on to reach the quarter-finals in South Africa last month and were rewarded with a place among the 11 top seeds.

Defending champions Nigeria, 2013 runners-up Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia and Zambia are the other top seeds.

Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Guinea, Libya, Sierra Leone and Uganda will be with Egypt, Cameroon, Algeria and Senegal in pot two for the draw in central city Marrakech.

The third seeds are Angola, Benin, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Niger, Sudan and Zimbabwe while the pot four countries have not been named.

A congested fixture calendar means there will be a big gap between the preliminary home-and-away play-offs on June 4 and August 14 this year and the mini-league phase late next year.

CAF officials have earmarked September, October and November 2014 for six rounds of group games although there are only five official dates available during that period and teams face playing twice within five days.

While two rounds of qualifiers between a Friday and the following on Tuesday is common in many continents, it poses unique challenges in Africa with fewer air travel options available.

Morocco, who staged the 1988 tournament and came fourth behind Cameroon, Nigeria and Algeria, qualify automatically as hosts and the 11 group winners will be joined at the 2015 Cup of Nations by the best four

runners-up.