The 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations is only forty days away and soka25east.com takes time to look at the history of this competition .
This will be 20th edition of the biennial international youth football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for players aged 20 and below. The draws were conducted during the CAF Executive Committee meeting held on Friday, 5 February 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda.
The tournament first came to life in 1979 and acts as a qualification platform for the U20 world cup.
From 1979 until 1989, the African representatives were determined purely on a home and away qualifying basis without a final tournament, with the African champions determined through the same qualification. Since 1991 there has been a qualifying stage followed by a final tournament played by 8 teams in a chosen country.
On 6 August 2015, the CAF Executive Committee decided to change the name of the tournament from the African Youth Championship to the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, similar to the senior’s version, Africa Cup of Nations.
Host Nation : Zambia
Host cities: Lusaka (Group A) Ndola (Group B)
Levy Mwanawasa (50 000 capacity)
Heroes Stadium ( 60 000 capacity)
Dates : From 26th February to 12th March
TEAMS TO LOOK OUT FOR
The young Chipolopolo are fresh from winning the 2016 COSAFA U20 Championships and will be motivated by the fact that they are playing at home. The team coached by Beston Chambeshi have mastered the art of playing a beautiful pacing game with alot of pace. They are expected to do well as the millions of soccer loving Zambians will be cheering them on.
The Eagles of Mali will be one of the teams to watch . The team has been together for some time . The majority of the players were graduated from the U17 squad of 2015 who came out third at the Chile 2015 U20 World Cup.
The 4 time champions have not won the continent youth showpiece since 2003 and will be looking to spread their feathers and shine in the absence of the record 7 time Champions Nigeria.
They are not a traditional power house in football but in the third round of qualification to the 2017 AFCON they drew Nigeria. This on paper was a huge mountain to climb for Sudan but they defied odds and qualified. If thats anything to go by, Sudan will give teams they will face a tough time.
1. Nigeria: 1983,1985 1987,1989,2005,2011 and 2015 (7)
2. Egypt : 1981,1991,2003 and 2013 (4)
3.Ghana : 1993,1999 qnd 2009 (3)
4. Cameroon: 1995
5. Algeria: 1979
6. Morocco :1997
TOPSCORERS SINCE 1997
1997: Benni McCarthy
1999 : Ousmane Bangoura
2001 : Pedro Mantoras
2003 : Emad Moteab
2005 : Mouhssine Iajour
2007 : Fwayo Tembo
2011 : Uche Nwafor
2013 : Aminu Umar
2015 : Musa Mohamed