Nigeria’s U23 national team (Dream Team VII) has been handed a tricky draw ahead of the Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt.
The draws which took place at Haramlek Palace, Alexandria on Wednesday, pitted eight of the qualified teams into two groups of four.
Defending champions Nigeria was pitted against perennial rivals South Africa, Cote D’ Ivoire, and Zambia in Group B; while host nation Egypt will tackle debutants Cameroon, Mali, and Ghana in Group A, in what could be seen as the group of death.
Imama Amakapabo’s boys thrashed Sudan 5-1 on aggregate to qualify to the main draw of the competition, but there are many uncertainties about the involvement of his foreign based squad members, who will be engaged in league football with their clubs.
The Pharaohs of Egypt will kick start the tourney on November 8th against Mali at the Cairo International Stadium.
The Total U-23 AFCON is a quadrennial event, which serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The winners, runners-up, and third placed team will represent Africa in the football event of next year’s Olympics.