Five things to know about 2019 U-17 AFCON finals       

10Apr 2019
Michael Mwebe
The Guardian
Five things to know about 2019 U-17 AFCON finals       
  • THE 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations brings together eight teams around the continent to compete for the title.

Here are five things you need to know about the 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations tournament which kicks off in Dar es Salaam this weekend.

Serengeti Boys’ players attend training session in Arusha to shape up for the 2019 U-17 AFCON finals, which will be played in Dar es Salaam from April 14-28.

1.    Duration and host country

In May 2015, the CAF Executive Committee ruled favourably on the request of the Tanzania Football Federation TFF to host the 2019 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

This will be the 13th edition of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, the biennial international youth football tournament organized by the Confederation of African Football for players aged 17 and below.

While the tournament has rotated in different parts of Africa, this will be the second time it is hosted in an East African country. Rwanda was the first Council of East and Central Africa Football Federations (CECAFA) member country to host the tournament in 2011.

It is the first time Tanzania is hosting a CAF event despite having hosted numerous regional tournaments organised by CECAFA.

2.     Host stadiums

It would be hosted across two venues, National Stadium and Azam Complex both in Dar es Salaam, from Sunday, April 12 till Sunday, April 28.

The National Stadium at Temeke, which has a capacity of 60,000, will host majority of games including the semis and the final game.

Azam Complex at the city outskirt of Mbagala has a capacity of 7,000 and will host a total of five matches.

3.    World Cup ticket

The tournament will have a total of 16 matches played from start to the conclusion. The eight teams in the tournament are divided into two groups. Hosts Tanzania, Nigeria, Angola and Uganda are in Group A, whilst Guinea, Cameroon, Morocco and Senegal constitute Group B.

The top squads two from each group will advance to the semi-finals after the conclusion of the group phase fixture.

Winners of each group will be paired against the runners-up to produce the semi-finalists. Winners in the semi-finals will progress to the final, while losers will contest for third place.

The semi-finalists qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup which will be held in Brazil.

4. Past winners

Since the start of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in 1995, there have been eight winners. West African countries have dominated by producing winners 11 times in the 12 previous editions.

Egypt are the only non-west African winners, having won the 1997 edition of the tournament held in Botswana when they beat Mali 1-0.

Mali, Nigeria, Gambia and Ghana are twice winners while Ivory Coast and Cameroon are the other countries to have won the tournament.

5. Female referees

A trailblazing decision will for the first time see female referees handle games of the opposite sex on the continent, debuting at the Total U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

The landmark conclusion was the highlight of the CAF Referees Committee meeting held on February 26 this year at the CAF Headquarters in Cairo, and had in attendance CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad.

The trail blazers are Tanzania’s finest, Jonesia Rukyaa Kabakama, Mary Njoroge of Kenya and Lidwine Rakotozafinoro from Madagascar.