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Manchester City Youngster Good For Zambia’s AFCON U23 Squad?

Do you think Manchester city youngster Jadel Katongo and other young European born footballers should be given a national team call up for the U23 Africa cup qualifiers ?

CAF released the qualifiers roadmap for the Morocco 2023 Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in June and used as qualifiers tournament for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Zambia and South Africa as the two highly ranked countries from Southern Africa will join the qualifiers in second round stage in the Cosafa region.

Zambia failed to qualify to the Olympics during the last u23 AFCON with the team comprising the likes of Patson Daka, Mwepu and Sakala who may now not be part of the U23 squad this year.

What should they do to qualify to the U23 AFCON and the 2024 Olympics this time around ?

Zambia has some decent talented players born in Europe who have reportedly expressed interest to representing the national team Colours, one such example is Manchester city young defender Jadel Katongo who was born from Zambian parents in English.

The 18 year old signed his first professional contract with Manchester city at the start of this season after a successful season with the club’s u23 team where he won the league three times.

Other players that Zambia can consider apart of the talented local based youngsters include Cardiff city striker Chanka Zimba who is on loan to Newport County.

Zimba , 20-years old is another player who is yet to be capped by England and has reportedly expressed interest to represent the Chipolopolo of Zambia, his country of origin.

He has so far been a key player for Newport County who some weeks ago made a cut in this season Carabao cup and could be a great addition for the Chipolopolo boys and good to start him with the under 23 team.

These are just a few names that Zambia can add to their U23 national team and look to qualify to the Olympics in 34 years.

The last Olympic qualification for the Zambia mens national team was in 1988 when the team reached the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, the draw for the qualifiers of the TotalEnergies U23 Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2023 will take place on Thursday 18 August 2022 at 13:00 Cairo time (11:00 GMT).

The TotalEnergies U23 Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco 2023 scheduled in June 2023 in Morocco and will serve as qualifying tournament to the Summer Olympics Paris2024.

Below is the roadmap for the 2023 U23 AFCON QUALIFIERS;

– 1st round: the 20 least ranked teams will play the 1st round (knock out from home & away matches) qualifying 10 teams to the 2nd round.

– 2nd round: The 10 teams qualified from the 1st round + the 18 exempted from the 1st round will play the 2nd round (knock out from home & away *matches) qualifying 14 teams to the 3rd round.

– 3rd round: The 14 teams qualified from the 2nd round will play the 3rd round (knock out from home & away matches) qualifying 7 teams to the final tournament in addition to the host country Morocco.

First Round (19 – 27 September 2022)

The participating teams in the 1st round (20 teams):

1 team from UNAF: Libya

3 teams from WAFU A: Gambia, Guinea Bissau & Mauritania

3 teams from WAFU B: Burkina Faso, Niger & Togo

1 team from UNIFFAC: RD Congo

5 teams from CECAFA: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Sudan & Tanzania

7 teams from COSAFA: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique & Namibia

Teams exempted according to the ranking (18 teams):

UNAF: Algeria, Egypt & Tunisia

WAFU A: Guinea, Mali, Senegal & S. Leone

WAFU B: Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana & Nigeria

CECAFA: Sudan & Uganda

UNIFFAC: Cameroon, Congo & Gabon

COSAFA: South Africa & Zambia

The zones will be mixed geographically in the preliminaries as follows:

POT A: 3 teams of WAFU A + 3 teams from WAFU B

Gambia

Guinea Bissau

Mauritania

Burkina Faso

Niger

Togo

POT B: 5 teams of CECAFA + 1 team of UNAF:

Djibouti

Ethiopia

Rwanda

South Sudan

Tanzania

Libya

POT C: 7 teams of COSAFA + 1 team of UNIFFAC:

Angola

Botswana

Eswatini

Madagascar

Mauritius

Mozambique

Namibia

RD Congo

Match 1 & 2: The 1st team drawn from pot A plays against the 2nd team drawn from pot A (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home)

Match 3 & 4: The 3rd team drawn from pot A plays against the 4th team drawn from pot A (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home)

Match 5 & 6: The 5th team drawn from pot A plays against the 6th team drawn from pot A (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home)

Match 7 & 8: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot B

Match 9 & 10: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot B

Match 11 & 12: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot B

Match 13 & 14: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot C

Match 15 & 16: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot C

Match 17 & 18: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot C

Match 19 & 20: same procedures of Pot A to be applied in pot C

Second Round

Teams of level 1 and teams of level 2 will play the winners from the 1st round by drawing of lots

Teams of level 3 will play against each other by drawing of lots.

Level 1: Egypt, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Algeria

Level 2: Ghana, Senegal, Gabon, Mali, Cameroon

Level 3: Tunisia, Zambia, Congo, Sudan, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Benin

Match 21 & 22: The 1st ball drawn from level 1 will play against winner 1&2

Match 23 & 24: The 1st ball drawn from level 3 will play against the 2nd ball drawn from level 3 (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home)

Match 25 & 26: The 2nd ball drawn from level 1 will play against winner 3/4

Match 27 & 28: The 3rd ball drawn from level 3 will play against the 4th ball drawn from level 3 (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home) _

Match 29 & 30: The 3rd ball drawn from level 1 will play against winner 5/6

Match 31 & 32: The 5th ball drawn from level 3 will play against the 6th ball drawn from level 3 (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home) _

Match 33 & 34: The 4th ball drawn from level 1 will play against winner 7/8

Match 35 & 36: The 7th ball drawn from level 3 will play against the 8th ball drawn from level 3 (1st team drawn plays 1st match at home) _

Match 37 & 38: The 5th ball drawn from level 1 will play against winner 9/10

Match 39 & 40: The 1st ball drawn from level 2 will play against winner 11/12

Match 41 & 42: The 2nd ball drawn from level 2 will play against winner 13/14

Match 43 & 44: The 3rd ball drawn from level 2 will play against winner 15/16

Match 45 & 46: The 4th ball drawn from level 2 will play against winner 17/18

Match 47 & 48: The 5th ball drawn from level 2 will play against winner 19/20

(Teams of level 1 and 2 play the 2nd leg at home)

Third Round

Match 49: win 21/22 vs winner 23/24

Match 50: win 23/24 vs winner 21/22

Match 51: win 25/26 vs winner 27/28

Match 52: win 27/28 vs winner 25/26

Match 53: win 29/30 vs winner 31/32

Match 54: win 31/32 vs winner 29/30

Match 55: win 33/34 vs winner 35/36

Match 56: win 35/36 vs winner 33/34

Match 57: win 37/38 vs winner 39/40

Match 58: win 39/40 vs winner 37/38

Match 59: win 41/42 vs winner 43/44

Match 60: win 43/44 vs winner 41/42

Match 61: win 45/46 vs winner 47/48

Match 62: win 47/48 vs winner 45/46

(Team mentioned first plays at home)

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Published by Calvin Kaumba Chikenge

I am a journalist. passionate about culture , sports and developmental story writing.

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