Record winners Nigeria were handed a fair draw in the group stage draws for the 2019 Total Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations (U20 AFCON) held in Niamey, Niger capital late on Thursday night.
The Flying Eagles who have won the championship seven times were drawn in Group A of the biennial tournament – which will also serve as the qualification tournament for next year’s World Youth Championship – alongside hosts Niger, South Africa and 1995 finalists Burundi.
Nigeria, coached by Paul Aigbogun are currently participating in the West African Football Union (WAFU) Under-20 tournament in Lome, Togo and last Sunday played a 0-0 draw with Niger in what could serve as a dress rehearsal for their group game next February.
The Flying Eagles will open their campaign against Burundi on the tournament’s opening day, on February 2, 2019 shortly after the opening game which will be contested by hosts Niger and South Africa at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché in Niamey.
Nigeria will face Niger in their second group game on February 5 before rounding up their group stage games with a clash with South Africa at the Stade de Maradi on February 8, 2019.
The Junior Teranga Lions of Senegal who lost in the final of the last two editions of the tournament were drawn in a tough Group B alongside West African foes Mali, Ghana and Burkina Faso. The opening round of matches in the group will see Senegal face Mali and Ghana tackling Burkina Faso on February 3.
The four semi finalists at the Niger tournament will qualify to represent Africa at the 2019 World Youth Championsip in Poland.
Group A (Niamey)
South Africa 🇿🇦
Group B (Maradi)
Burkina Faso 🇧🇫