The Black Stars of Ghana will compete against Libya, Gabon and Lesotho in the preliminary round of the qualification series for the South African 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The winner from the group will join 19 other countries to advance into a system of five groups of four teams.

Africa’s qualifying format has been altered from the previous system where the teams moved into a group stage after two knock out rounds.

Under the new format, the 12 group winners and the top eight runners-up advance into the second group stage, from which Africa’s five representatives for the World Cup will be determined to join hosts South Africa.

The series will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2010 African Cup of Nations. The draw was conducted in South Africa on Sunday afternoon.