U23 AFCON: Nigeria To Play South Africa In Group B

Defending champions Nigeria will tackle foes, South Africa, in the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations after both teams were placed in the same group when the draw for the tournament which also doubles as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was made Wednesday in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

Ivory Coast and Zambia complete Group B for the November 8-22 championship, while Group A comprises hosts Egypt, Mali, Cameroon and Ghana.

All matches at the competition will take place in the Egyptian capital, Cairo.

The match between Nigeria and South Africa is sure to generate more interest than usual after Nigerians living in South Africa bore the brunt of recent xenophobic attacks carried out by local South Africans against other African nationals.

The tournament in Egypt is open only to U23 footballers and the finalists and the winners of the third-place play-off will represent Africa in at the 2020 Olympics, where teams can use three ‘over-age’ players.

Nigeria have won gold (1996) and silver (2008) and bronze (2016) at Olympic football tournaments, while Cameroon gold (2000) and Ghana bronze (1992) have also picked up Olympic medals in football.

The previous two editions of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations were won by Gabon (2011) in Morocco and Nigeria (2015) in Senegal.