Wednesday Feb 18, 2015. 11:38
In just two and a half weeks’ time the CAF African U-20 Championship will kick-off in Senegal, beginning with a match between the hosts and Nigeria’s Flying Eagles in Dakar.
The 2015 African Youth Championship will be the 20th edition of the continental tournament, which was first played in 1979 as the African U-21 Cup of Nations.
Egypt are the reigning champions in this age group, having defeated Ghana on penalties in the 2013 final.
Overall, Nigeria have the best record in the AYC, boasting six titles, two runners-up finishes and five bronze medals.
Egypt have four titles, Ghana three, while each of Cameroon, Algeria, Morocco, Angola and Congo have won the tournament once.
The 2015 edition will be played from March 8 to 22 at two venues in Senegal: the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar and M’Bour’s Stade Caroline Faye.
There are eight teams competing in the tournament, which have been divided into two groups. Two teams from each group will progress to the semifinals, and from there a third-place playoff and final will be played to determine the final standings.
Group A is made up of hosts Senegal, Nigeria, Congo and Ivory Coast, while Group B features Ghana, South Africa, Mali and Zambia.
Progression into the semifinals of the tournament will secure qualification for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which will be played in New Zealand from May 30 to June 20.
2015 CAF African U-20 Championship
Venues: Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor (Dakar) & Stade Caroline Faye (M’Bour)
Dates: March 8-22
Competing teams: Senegal, Nigeria, Congo, Ivory Coast (Group A); Ghana, South Africa, Mali, Zambia (Group B).
Semifinalists qualify for 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup