Friday 12 April 2019, 11:36

Tanzanian test for Brazil hopefuls

  • CAF Africa U-17 Cup of Nations taking place in Tanzania

  • Eight teams competing for four tickets to Brazil 2019

  • Mali, winners of last two editions, failed to qualify

Nigerian fans enjoy the games during the FIFA U17 World Cup match between Mexico and Switzerland

This is certainly a busy period for African football. After the draw for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019, which took place in Cairo on 12 April, it is the turn of the continents’ younger stars to take centre stage. Over the next two weeks, Tanzania will host the latest edition of the CAF Africa U-17 Cup of Nations, where teams will be vying not just for continental glory, but also the region’s four berths at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019.

Practical information**

  • Where: Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

  • When: From 14 - 28 April 2019

  • At stake: The four semi-finalists qualify for Brazil 2019

  • Who: Eight teams in two groups of four

Group A: Tanzania, Nigeria, Angola, Uganda Group B: Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco, Senegal

Perennial favourites: Nigeria is a heavyweight on the African U-17 scene with two continental titles, two runners-up spots and two third-place finishes. At global level, their record is even more impressive, with five world titles and three runners-up spots to their name. Manu Garba’s charges will unsurprisingly start as favourites in Tanzania, especially in the absence of Ghana, Mali and Gambia, all two-time winners of this event.

Tanzania’s year? The host nation is on something of a roll at present. The senior team will go to Egypt in June for only the second Africa Cup of Nations in their history, 39 years on from their first. As for the U-17s, they will be hoping that a fervent home support can inspire them to at least progress from Group A.

African teams at the FIFA U-17 World Cup

Seven world titles: five for Nigeria, two for Ghana Six times World Cup runners-up: Nigeria three times, Ghana twice and Mali once. 18 African countries have already participated in the tournament. Should they qualify this year, Angola, Uganda and Tanzania would be making their maiden appearances.

For the first time ever at a CAF tournament, female referees will officiate at a men’s event.