Hosts Zambia, South Africa and Angola will all be seeded for Thursday’s 2017 COSAFA Under-20 Championships draw that will set the scene for the tournament to be staged in Kitwe from December 6-16.
Holders Zambia will be placed in Group A, while South Africa, who finished runners-up in 2016 will occupy Group B. Angola take their place as the third seeded team having finished fourth last year, with bronze-medalists DR Congo not taking part in this championship.
The other nine teams will be divided into two pots divided into the top four ranked sides and the remaining five nations. North African guest nation Egypt, Lesotho, Mauritius and Swaziland occupy the first pot, with Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia and East African challengers Uganda in the other.
These teams have been ranked based on their performance at the 2016 COSAFA Under-20 Championships and/or the 2017 African Youth Championships.
The teams will be drawn into the three groups, with the top team in each pool automatically advancing to the semifinals along with the best-placed runner-up.
Three teams each will initially be drawn from Pot 1 and Pot 2, with the three remaining sides after that combined into another pot to allocate them to each of the groups.
Matches will be played at the Arthur Davies and Nkana stadiums, with the opener set for the former venue on December 6 between the teams placed in A2 and A4 (kick-off 11h30).
Angola will also be in action on the opening day against the team positioned C3 (kick-off 14h30), while Zambia then take the spot-light against the team positioned A3 in the late kick-off at 17h30.
The group stage will be completed on December 12, followed by a rest day, with the semifinals to be staged at the Arthur Davies Stadium on December 14.
The third-place play-off and the final will move to the Levy Mwanawasa in Ndola on December 16.