One of the resolutions adopted at the Symposium on African football held in Rabat, Morocco, in July, was to have the qualifiers for youth competitions on the continent played by zones.
The Executive Committee at the end of the symposium decided the immediate implementation of this resolution for an age group. From now on, the qualifiers for the U17 Africa Cup of Nations, starting from the 2019 edition in Tanzania, will be by zones.
To implement this decision, the Confederation of African Football benefits from the multifaceted support of UEFA, with which CAF is bound by a memorandum of understanding.
It is to draw the outlines of this innovation that the general secretaries of zonal unions, representatives of UEFA and the General Secretariat of CAF, led by Essam Ahmed, Acting Secretary General of CAF, met in Cairo on 16 and 17 October 2017.
Five zonal unions, namely South, Central East, North, West A and West B were present. Center zone was the only missing. The matters discussed were related to the periods, venues and formats of the different qualifiers phases proposed by each zone.
The general trend is to organize a tournament in 2018, which will be sanctioned by the qualification of the country representing the zone. Each of the six zones will qualify a team for the U17 Afcon. The zone of the title holder will qualify an additional team. Seven countries will then join Tanzania for the final tournament.
Each zone has until the end of October to submit to CAF a budget proposal, the host country, the period and format of its qualifiers.