The draw ceremony for this year’s Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations will take place today at the Cercle Nationale d’Armee in Algiers, Algeria.
Five-time world champion Nigeria is one of 12 countries whose names will enter the draw pot, as all participating teams will meet their group stage opponents for the tournament scheduled for April 8-30 in the largest nation in Africa. per land mass.
The 12 participating nations are now known: Algeria, Nigeria, Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Somalia, South Sudan, Zambia, South Africa, Cameroon and Congo.
The 12 teams will be drawn into three groups of four teams each, with the top four teams qualifying to represent Africa at this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Peru at the end of this year.
Meanwhile, the international friendly match between Nigeria and Zambia at the men’s Under-20 level will now take place at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on February 4.
Initially, the soccer governing bodies of both countries had agreed on a two-game tour for January 27 and 30, respectively. But logistical issues and Joven Chipolopolo’s scruple to process his entry visas to Egypt for the upcoming U-20 Africa Cup of Nations before leaving Zambia forced it to be postponed.
Zambia’s Under-20 delegation is still in Lusaka and will now only be able to play one match against the Soaring Eagles, before traveling to Dakar for a match against Senegal on Tuesday next week.
Both Nigeria and Zambia will face a country from the other region in Egypt, with Nigeria drawn against Mozambique (along with host nation Egypt and Senegal) in Pool A, while Zambia will face Benin Republic (along with Tunisia and Gambia) in Group C. Uganda, Central African Republic, South Sudan and Congo make up Group B.
Seven-time African champions Nigeria will fly to Morocco next week for their final round of preparation.
Coach Isah Ladan Bosso’s charges have been in top form in recent weeks, battering a host of teams in friendly matches.
Bosso’s charges were worthy champions of the WAFU B Under-20 Championship in Niamey, Republic of Niger in May 2022, winning all five of their matches in the competition.

By: Tonye Orabere