All eyes on Rio de Janeiro as U-23 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off

Mahmoud Elassal , Saturday 28 Nov 2015

Egypt is among eight African teams fighting for a place in next year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro

Rio Olympics logo
Rio Olympics logo

The CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off Saturday in Senegal with eight teams in two groups competing to book tickets to the Men's Olympic Football Tournament next summer in Rio de Janeiro.

The African tournament's hosts, Senegal, are in Group A alongside South Africa, Zambia and Tunisia, while Egypt is in Group B with Algeria, Mali and Nigeria.

The big African teams are not concentrating only on the CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations title, as there is another prize for the first three teams: they will reach the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro directly.

The two finalists and the third place winner will represent Africa in next year's Olympic Games.

All eight teams competing for Olympic places know well the importance of the Olympics having competed there previously.

Egypt is working to claim the most number of Olympic appearances, having attended 11 times, with only a handful of countries around the world having reached the Olympics more often.

The CAF U-23 Africa Cup of Nations hosts, Senegal, are to launch the CAF U-23 tournament Saturday facing South Africa, while Zambia will play against Tunisia.

The young Pharaohs will face Algeria Sunday, while Nigeria, who dominate African youth football, will play against Mali in Group B.

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