Tanzania, Rwanda to host U20, U17 regional AFCON qualifying tournaments

Tanzania and Rwanda have been selected as the hosts for the CECAFA Region U20 and U17 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers respectively.

The decision was reached during the CECAFA Executive Committee meeting held in Arusha on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

Tanzania who impressively hosted the U17 AFCON in 2017 will host the regional U20 AFCON qualifiers for the 23rd edition of the Africa U20 Cup of Nations.

The qualifying tournament for the Central and East zone has been scheduled for November 22 – December 6, 2020.

Sudan were initially selected to be the host of the tournament, but interuptions and delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak means they have been stripped of hosting rights.

Up to 10 national associations have confirmed participation in the qualifying tournament. However, 2009 U20 AFCON hosts Rwanda have pulled out of qualifying.

Uganda will be seeking qualification for their maiden AFCON U20 finals. The Hippos were knocked out by Cameroon at the penultimate qualifying round in 2019.

Somalia, Sudan, Burundi, Eritrea, Tanzania, Djibouti, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya are the other nations that will take part in the Central and East zone qualifiers.

The U20 tournament will be hosted by Mauritania between February and March 2021.

Elsewhere, Rwanda has been maintained as the host the Central and East Africa zone qualifying tournament.

The tournament which was initially set to be held in July but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been confirmed for December 13 – December 28 in Kigali.

Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya have confirmed participation in the qualifying tournament.

Uganda should be confident of a second consecutive appearance at the U17 AFCON finals after reaching the group stages of the tournament in 2017.

The U17 tournament will be hosted by Morocco in July 2021 with the tournament having an expanded field of 12 teams from eight.

The top four teams of the tournament will qualify for the 2021 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru as the CAF representatives.

Both the qualifying tournaments will feature 10 teams which will be pooled in two groups with the top two teams from both groups qualifying for the semi-finals.

The winners of the semi-finals will represent the CECAFA region at the U20 and U17 AFCON finals.

CECAFA advised that the host countries should therefore give the necessary assurances to the participating teams on their wellbeing and precautions around COVID-19.

All participating nations will be responsible for their respective country requirements including COVID-19 testing and other protocols required by their governments prior to departure back to their home countries after the tournament.

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