Nigeria handed easy U-23 AFCON draws


Ebenezer Bajela

The draw for the 2023 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations took place at the headquarters of the Confederation of African Football in Cairo on Thursday with Nigeria being offered an easy passage en route to qualifying for the tournament.

The country’s U-23 team have been drawn bye to the second round of the qualifiers where they face the winners of the first round fixture between Tanzania and South Sudan.

The competition which will be hosted by Morocco has been scheduled to hold June 2023.

However, the first round of the qualifiers, a home and away fixture, will take place from September 19 to 27, while the second round games have been scheduled for October 21 to 30.

The final round of the qualifying phase will hold between March 20 to 28, 2023.

The U-23 Eagles will then face Guinea or Uganda in the final round of the qualifiers should they go past the second round.

According to CAF, a total of 39 Member Associations are engaged in the African qualifiers.

Morocco are automatically qualified as hosts to the final tournament while the remaining 38 teams will play the qualifiers.

The U-23 AFCON tournament will serve as a qualifying tournament for the football event at the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.