Zambia U17 coach George Chilufya has described their 2021 AFCON U17 Group A draw as balanced group.
Junior Chipolopolo has been drawn against an opponent each from the other three corners of Africa who include Uganda from East Africa and Cote d’Ivoire from West Africa.
From North Africa, tournament hosts Morocco are Zambia’s other Group A opponents.
“I think football is a competition and in every tournament, if you want to become champions, you have to compete against other teams so whichever team’s come, you should be ready for the battle,” Chilufya said.
“I think it is a balanced group having teams from almost the whole Africa, we just have to do our best in our preps and during the tournament.”
Zambia will play Cote d’Ivoire in their opening Group A match on March 14, Uganda in their penultimate Group A match on March 16 and Morocco on March 19.
Junior Chipolopolo will be facing all three opponents for the first time at an AFCON U17 tournament.
Winner of Group A will play one of the two best third placed sides while the runner-up will face winner from Group B that comprises Algeria,Tanzania,Congo Brazzaville and two-time winners Nigeria- both those matches will be on March 24.
This is Junior Chipolopolo’s second tournament outing after making its AFCON debut at Niger 2015 where they made a first round exit.
The top two sides from the three groups will be joined by the best two third place finishers in the quarterfinals of the tournament that has been expanded from eight to twelve teams in this edition.
Defending champions Cameroon are in Group C with Senegal, Mali and South Africa and chasing an unprecedented third AFCON U17 title.
The top four finishers will represent Africa at the postponed 2021 FIFA U17 World Cup in Peru.