48 DAYS TO GO
THE head of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) inspection team to Rwanda Slim Aloulou has revealed that Rwanda is on right course as far as hosting the 2009 African Youth Championship is concerned.
Speaking to Times Sport after the championship draw held in Kigali on Friday, Aloulou who is also the Caf committee chairman for youth championships said that all hosting infrastructures ranging from stadiums, training stadiums, hospitals, hotels and transport have been worked upon thoroughly and he hopes everything will go well during the two week long tournament.
In his speech at the draw, the elderly football administrator said that he had been impressed by the hosting infrastructures of the 16th edition of the African youth championship due next year in Kigali.
Aloulou said, “I am happy to say that everything in relation to the hosting of next year’s African championship is ready.”
“The stadiums; National stadium and Stade Regional are fit to host the event while the training grounds are in good shape too,” Aloulou noted.
Remera, Mumena and Kicukiro will be used as training grounds while Amahoro and Regional stadium will host the games.
Aloulou who was taken on a guided visit of the hotels that will be hosting the visiting teams and delegations gave a thumbs-up on the accommodation facilities.
The hotels include; Serena, Novotel, Milles Collines, Gorilla, Stipp and Top Tower hotels respectively. King Faycal hospital was approved as the tournament’s medical centre.
The African Youth Championship is scheduled to take place from January, 18 to February, 1 2009. The matches will be held in Kigali’s newly renovated Amahoro National Stadium and the capital suburb’s Regional Stadium, Nyamirambo.
According to the draw conducted by Caf’s Essam Mohammed, Rwanda, Mali, Cameroon and Ghana were placed in Group A while Nigeria, Egypt South Africa and Ivory Coast will be squaring it out in Group B.
Hosts Rwanda, which was seeded for the draw, will open the competition against Mali at Amahoro stadium on January 18, 2009 before another cracker sees Ghana taking on arch rivals Cameroon. It will be the first time a tournament of such magnitude will be played in the Cecafa region.
The Caf U-20 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.