The 2022 edition of the WAFU Zone B U20 Championship will kick off in the Nigerien capital of Niamey on Saturday with the hosts seeking a surprise title success among the seven participating countries.
But the home side have to contend with title holder Ghana as well as giants Nigeria in the tournament that also serves as qualification for the TotalEnergies U20 Africa Cup of Nations.
Niger will open the competition with a cagey match against Cote d'Ivoire in a Group A at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché.
As both countries missed in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Mauritania, they would want to start their campaign on a bright note.
Also in Group A on Saturday is the match between Togo and their neighbours Benin which will be played after the opening match at the Stade Général Seyni Kountché.
Sunday will be the turn of defending champions Ghana who will tackle most titled in this competition Nigeria in a crunch encounter.
The match will be held at the same venue in Niamey with Nigeria set to enjoy big support thanks to the high number of Nigerians living in their neighbouring country
The Flying Eagles are the record winners of the U20 Africa Cup of Nations having won it 7 times but they missed out in the last edition in Mauritania.
The Black Satellites came from behind to beat Burkina Faso 2-1 to win the 2020 Championship at the Stade Charles De Gaulles in Porto Novo, Benin.
Burkina Faso will be on standby on matchday one since Group B has only three teams. The Young Stallions will begin their campaign on matchday two
The next U20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament will take place in Egypt from February 18, 2023 to March 12, 2022.
The top four teams will qualify to the FIFA U20 World Cup held in Indonesia later that year.
Group Stage fixtures
M1 (07/05/2022 à 17H) : NIGER Vs COTE D'IVOIRE at GSK Stadium
M2 (07/05/2022 à 20H) : TOGO Vs BENIN at GSK Stadium
M3 (08/05/2022 à 17H) : GHANA Vs NIGERIA at GSK Stadium
M4 (10/05/2022 à 17H) : COTE D'IVOIRE Vs TOGO at GSK Stadium
M5 (10/05/2022 à 20H) : BENIN Vs NIGER at GSK Stadium
M6 (11/05/2022 à 17H) : NIGERIA Vs BURKINA FASO at GSK Stadium
M7 (13/05/2022 à 16:45H) : NIGER Vs TOGO at GSK Stadium
M8 (13/05/2022 à 16:45H) : BENIN Vs COTE D'IVOIRE at MUNICIPAL Stadium
M9 (14/05/2022 à 16:45H) : GHANA Vs BURKINA FASO at GSK Stadium