The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has introduced a new system that will change how teams across the African continent qualify for CAF junior team tournaments.
In an effort to ensure that all of its 6 zones are represented at the CAF Championships the governing body has resolved that each zone must have its own regional tournament where all member countries will participate and the two finalists of each zone will automatically qualify for the continental showpiece.
The 6 zones in detail are as follows:
Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia
WEST A ZONE
Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Sierra Leone
WEST B ZONE
Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Nigeria, Togo
Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, São Tomé and Príncipe
CENTRAL EAST ZONE
Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
At the final tournament 12 teams would have qualified for the tournament with the four semi-finalists qualifying for the junior FIFA World Cup. The 2020 men’s U20 COSAFA Cup is set to take place in South Africa’s Nelson Mandela Bay Metro from the 3rd to the 13th of December 2020.
FULL COSAFA U20 DRAW.
South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho
Zambia, Malawi, Namibia, Comoros Islands
Angola, Eswatini, Botswana
The group winners will automatically advance to the semi-finals and are joined by the best runner up from all three groups. The two finalists will then advance to represent the COSAFA region at the continental Championship which will be hosted by Mauritania.
CAF also stipulates that the hosts of the continental tournament will automatically fill in the spot of their zone meaning countries from that zone will be left to fight for one spot in the continental tournament – in this case West Africa A zone will be that zone since Mauritania will be hosts.
South African legend Helman Mkhalele will have the responsibility of leading the South African U-20 men’s national team at the regional tournament in Port Elizabeth.
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By Prince Sobayeni