By CHIMAOBI UCHENDU
In spite that fear of insecurity in Egypt has forced the country’s football association to withdraw from hosting the CAF Under-23 African Championship, CAF has again snubbed Nigeria in the race for London Olympic qualifiers hosting rights.
It has confirmed Morocco as host for the event scheduled for November 26th to December 10th.
The award has put Nigeria in the same group with the host, group B. Silver medallist, Nigeria, at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing is aiming to qualify for the London Games. Top three teams will qualify for the London 2012 Olympics with the fourth placed team taking on a side from Asia in a play–off.
The tournament will take place in Marrakech and Tangiers as main venues, with additional venues being Rabat and/or Fes.
CAF is labelling the competition Africa’s first Under-23 Championships. The continent already has competitions at both Under-17 and Under-20 levels, where the top three qualify for Fifa’s finals at those age levels.
When the draw was made last month, Egypt is drawn in Group A against Gabon, South Africa and Ivory Coast. Group B comprises Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria and Senegal. The competition will run from 26 November to 10 December 2011.
Morocco Olympic team boosted their preparations for the CAF Under-23 Championship with a 2-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire on Tuesday in Tangier, to send warning signals to her opponents in Group B.