BY KUNLE SOLAJA
Just as the Super Falcons will have to overcome Cote-d’Ivoire in a back-to-back encounter to get an opportunity to qualify for the football event of Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so also it is for the men’s team.
Following the draw for the U23 CAF tournament conducted on Wednesday night, the Nigerian side will resume their qualification quest with a potentially explosive duel with Cote d’Ivoire on November 9.
The match will hold at Al Salaam Stadium in Cairo. Since the tournament is organized as double-header, the Nigeria versus Cote d’Ivoire, a West African derby, will immediately be followed by a southern African derby, as South Africa will face Zambia.
Three days later at the same stadium, Nigeria will face South Africa in what is predictably going to be an explosive encounter, considering the football rivalries of both nations at all levels.
The last set of group matches on November 15 will see Nigeria playing against Zambia while South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire will also clash.
The top two teams get to the semi-finals and move closer to obtaining tickets to the Olympics. The semi final winners get automatic tickets while the losers will clash in a classification duel to determine which team picks Africa’s third ticket to the Olympics.
In Group A, which matches will hold at the Cairo International Stadium, Egypt will host Mali on November 8 the same day Cameroon and Ghana will clash.
Three days later, Cameroon will play against Egypt and Mali and Ghana will be engaged in a West African derby.
On November 14, Cameroon will engage Mali while Egypt will host Ghana.