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Gambia know U-17 opponents

Nov 29, 2010, 1:36 PM | Article By: Lamin Drammeh

The reigning African U-17 youth champions have been pitted in group B against Congo, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire in the CAF U-17 youth championship to be held in Rwanda in January 2011.

The draw, held on Saturday at the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Gisenyi, Rwanda, was witnessed by officials of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Rwandan Ministry of Sports and Culture and the Rwandan Football Federation (FERWAFA).

The eight teams were divided into two groups of four teams each to battle for honours at the ninth edition of the biennial championship.

Hosts Rwanda are housed in Group A together with Burkina Faso, Senegal and Egypt, while reigning champions The Gambia, Congo, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali make up Group B.

The four teams in each group will engage each other on a round-robin basis with the group winners and runners up advancing to the semi-finals, and the eventual winners will progress to the final.

The tournament will be staged from 8 to 22 January 2011 and matches will be played at the Amahoro National Stadium, Umuganda Stadium and Stade de Kigali.

The opening match and the final will be held at the Amahoro National Stadium.

The semi-finalists will represent the continent in the FIFA U-17 World Cup scheduled to take place from 18 June to 10 July 2011 in Mexico.

The Baby Scorpions, who are widely tipped to retain the title they won in 2005 and 2009, will begin the defence of their African U-17 title when they rub shoulders with Congo at the Umaganda Stadium in Gisengi on 9 January.

They will face Mali on 12 January at the same stadium before wrapping up their group B matches with a crucial game against their fellow West African counterparts and familiar opponents Cote D’ Ivoire, scheduled for 15 January at the Stade de Kigali.