Rwanda, Nigeria seeded for the AYC draw
African Youth Championship
Kigali Rwanda 18 January - 1
52 days to go
HOST NATION, Rwanda and five-time record winners of the biennial African Youth championship, Nigeria have been seeded for the 16th edition of the two week long tournament whose draws are set for this evening at Prime Holding, Kigali.
The basis to consider two countries as top seeds was solely based on the fact that Rwanda was the host nation while Nigeria has won many African youth championship titles following Congo Brazzaville’s failure to qualify for next year’s edition despite winning the 2007 edition in Brazzaville.
The local organizing committee (Cocan) Spokesman, Jules Kalisa revealed yesterday that the basis for the seeding was not based on Fifa rankings but the host nation criteria as well as the leading record-time winners of this competition earned rights to be considered seeded teams.
“We only considered Rwanda as one of the seeded team because it’s a host nation while Nigeria replaced Congo Brazzaville as another seeded team following the latter’s failure to reach the final qualification round,” Kalisa said.
The draws for the U-20 African Youth Championship finals will see the top seeds each pitted in a group to be composed of three other teams.
Slim Aloulou and Moneim Abdel Essam, are the only high-profile members from the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) who will grace today’s event of drawing teams for next year’s African tournament.
Aloulou is the chairman of the organizing committee of the youth competitions while Essam is a member in the organizing committee of the Africa Cup of Nations.
Essam will be representing CAF’s top bosses Issa Hayatou (president) and Mustapha Fahmy (Secretary General) who will be attending the burial of the fallen Farah Addo who passed away last week in Cairo, Egypt.
The only African football tournament to be hosted in the East Africa region, will be graced by Rwanda’s Minister of Sports and Culture Joseph Habineza who will also be chief guest. The draws will be conducted by the chairman of the Organizing Committee of CAF Youth Competitions, Slim Aloulou.
French-based Sport Five which owns the broadcasting of the two-week long tournament is set to be represented at the event.
Representatives from participating teams; Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Mali and Ghana will be present at the draws occasion for the tournament which kick-offs on January 18-February 1 in Kigali.
However, Ghana, Egypt and South Africa are the only countries which had confirmed their presence in today’s draws by press time.
Both Ghana and Egypt are sending their representatives while South Africa will be represented by an official from South African embassy in Kigali.
The Caf African Youth Championship is a major international football competition for Caf nations, played by under 20 years old players.
The Caf U20 African Championship is held every two years with the top 4 teams qualifying for the Fifa World Youth Championship.
Until 1989 the African representatives were determined purely on a qualifying basis with no African title on the line. Since 1991 there has been a qualifying stage followed by a final tournament played by 8 teams in a chosen country.
Countries in the draw:
The winner of the African youth championship will automatically qualify to the finals of the 2009 Youth World Cup due in Cairo, Egypt.
Congo Brazzaville won last edition title which was held on its home soil after overcoming Nigeria 1-0 in the final game.