Focus turns to U20 World Cup draw


Africa’s representatives Zambia, Senegal, Guinea and South Africa will be hoping to get a fair draw on Wednesday at the Suwon Artrium in Suwon ahead of the Fifa U20 World Cup set for May 20-June 11 in South Korea.

Zambia’s winning head coach Beston “Quick Silver” Chambeshi told that he expects a decent draw but whatever teams come his way, the Junior Chipolopolo are ready for the challenge.

“We expect a fair draw and we shall meet any team that comes our way. We have established a good platform from the Afcon U20 tournament and picked up two or three things that we can improve where we are not doing well,” he explained.

Senegal coach Joseph Koto shared the same sentiments as Chambeshi and also emphasized that they are ready to represent Africa in the best way possible.

He said, “We are going to the Fifa U20 World Cup and this is where the best teams in the world are playing. We are ready for the challenge and we will give our best.”

Chambeshi, Koto and Guinea coach Mandjou Diallo flew from Lusaka on Monday to Korea aboard Ethiopian Airways where they shared a light moment as they looked ahead at a much bigger challenge that goes beyond representing their countries.

South Africa coach Thabo Senong flew from Johannesburg on Monday to Suwon and depending on their opponents will he make a solid plan for Amajita’s possible friendly games.

Ghana is the only African nation that has won the Fifa U20 World Cup and this was in 2009 when they defeated Brazil 4-3 on penalties after a goalless draw in extra time in the final.

Meanwhile, Argentine football legend Diego Maradona, who won the 1979 U20 World Cup and fellow countryman 1997 U20 World Cup winner Pablo Aimar, will be present at the draw on Wednesday. The draw will be followed by a team workshop as well inspection visits to venues where teams will be drawn to play. A total of 24 teams are representing six confederations and the top two teams from each group along with the four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.

Qualified teams:

AFC: Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam (first appearance)
CAF: Guinea, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia
CONCACAF: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, USA
CONMEBOL: Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela
OFC: New Zealand, Vanuatu (first appearance)
UEFA: England, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal. — Sport24

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