The draw for the FIFA U-20 soccer finals took place at the Grand Tarabya Hotel in Istanbul on Monday night, with the African teams allocated spaces as CAF champions, runner-up, 2nd runner-up and 4th respectively, as the African tournament enters the semi-final stage in in Algeria.
A similar thing happened in 2011, when the draw ceremony for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Colombia 2011 was undertaken in Barranquilla while the African Youth Championship was still on in South Africa.
The emerging continental champions from that tournament,Nigeria, will play Egypt today in Ain Temouchent, in one of the semi-final matches of the 2013 version, and they have expressed determination to retain their title.
Should they do so, they will play in Group E alongside Chile, England and Iraq. That slot is for whichever country emerges Africa Champion next Saturday. The matches will take place in Antalya and Bursa.
Africa’s runner-up, will play against France, USA and Spain in a Group A that is seen as the ‘Group of Death’ by FIFA U-20 World Cup enthusiasts. The matches will come up in Istanbul and Kayseri.
Africa’s second runners-up (bronze winners) will play Cuba, Korea Republic and Portugal in Group B, in matches to be played in Kayseri and Istanbul; while the fourth-placed team is drawn to play in Group D alongside Mexico, Greece and Paraguay in Gaziantep and Trabzon.
South American and European soccer powerhouses Brazil, Argentina, Italy and Germany will watch the competition on television, having failed to qualify.
GROUP A (Istanbul & Kayseri)
GROUP B (Kayseri & Istanbul)
CAF 2nd Runners-Up
GROUP C (Trabzon, Rize, Gaziantep)
GROUP D (Gaziantep & Trabzon)
GROUP E (Antalya & Bursa)
GROUP F (Bursa & Antalya)