Senegal, Burkina Faso, Morocco and Mali will represent Africa at the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup.
The four sides sealed their places following the conclusion of the quarter-final matches at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup will be the 19th edition of the biennial international men’s youth football tournament.
It is contested by 24 teams of the under-17 national teams of the member associations of FIFA from six confederations.
It will be held from Nov. 10 to Dec. 2 in a yet to be decided venue (initially Peru).
This edition marks the return of the tournament after a 4-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing FIFA to cancel the 2021 edition.
The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria are the most successful team in the tournament having made eight appearances and winning a record, five FIFA U-17 World Cup titles (1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015).
They were also runners up on three occasions (1987, 2001 and 2009).
Nigeria are also two-time Africa U-17 Cup of Nations champions having won their first title in 2001, with their most recent title at the 2007 edition.
They were runners up on two occasions (1995, 2013) and finished third in 2003.
Brazil are the defending champions, having won their fourth title in 2019.
Africa has four slots at the tournament and with the U17 AFCON serving as the qualification, the teams that reach the semi-finals will represent the continent at the global event.
Of the teams qualified, Mali is the most experienced, having qualified five times previously. This is their sixth qualification.
Their best performance was in 2015 when they lost to African rivals Nigeria in the final. Their last qualification was in 2017 in India when they finished fourth.
They reached the quarter finals in 1997 and 2001 and exited in the group stage in 1999.
Burkina Faso are meanwhile going back to the global stage for the first time since their last qualification in 2011 when they exited in the group stages.
They have qualified for the World Cup four times in total and their best ever performance was in 2001 when they finished third after beating Argentina 2-0 in the play-off.
Morocco are meanwhile qualifying for the World Cup for the second time in their history, having made their debut in 2013 when they when they reached the round of 16.
Senegal have qualified for the World Cup for the second time in their history, after making their debut in 2019 following Guinea’s elimination.
In their maiden campaign, they reached the round of 16 after finishing second in their group. They lost 2-1 to Spain in the knockout phase. (NAN)