Flying Eagles To Know U-20 World Cup Group Opponents March 31 As FIFA Confirms Africa’s Reps.
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By Amaechi Agbo
Flying Eagles of Nigeria will on March 31 discover their group opponents at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World as the world football governing body announced date for the draw and fixtures of the tournament
FIFA announced Friday that the draw for the 23rd edition of the championship will hold on March 31st after which the fixtures would also be released.
FIFA also confirmed Africa’s four representatives at the tournament to include Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
The four nations booked their tickets to the biennial competition after winning their respective quarter-final matches at the ongoing U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in Egypt.
Senegal and Nigeria defeated their opponents Benin and Uganda by 1-0 each on Thursday while Gambia humbled South Sudan 5-0 on Friday. Tunisia needed the lottery of penalty shootout to overcome Congo 5-4 after regulation time had ended 3-3 apiece.
Indonesia will host the 23rd FIFA U-20 World Cup which will run from 20 May to 11 June, 2023.
The tournament was originally scheduled for 2021 only to be delayed due to Covid-19.
“The draw to determine which teams play who in the group stage of the U-20 World Cup will take place on 31 March 2023, following the conclusion of the remaining qualifying tournaments.
“The 24 teams will be split into six groups of four, with the top two teams from each group progressing, while the four best third-placed teams will also advance to the Round of 16 knockout phase.
“Fixtures for the competition will be confirmed following the conclusion of the group stage draw on 31 March.,” FIFA announced on Friday
A total of 24 nations will compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup from six confederations
Hosts Indonesia are joined by Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, England, Fiji, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Slovakia, the United States of America, and Uruguay, Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia as the confirmed qualifiers so far.
Born as a 16-team tournament in 1977, the biennial FIFA U-20 World Cup brings together some of the most talented youngsters the world of football has to offer, as they compete to be crowned as world champions of the under-20 age group.
In 1997, the competition headed to Malaysia and expanded to the now customary 24-team format, with more than 90 nations competing at the finals during the tournament’s 46-year history. There have been a total of 11 different winners of the U-20 World Cup trophy, with Ukraine the most recent victors following their 2019 triumph in Poland.
The tournament was set to return to South-East Asia in 2021 for the first time since Malaysia ’97, but the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic postponed Indonesia’s FIFA tournament hosting debut until the summer of 2023.
Ghana is the only Africa nation to have won the tournament in 2009. Nigeria has twice won silver medals and a bronze medal once