|Both the U-17 Baby Scorpions and the U-20 Darling Scorpions (pic) were deprived of participation in international competition in 2012/2013 over lack of money (Photo taken from Afrikan Soccer)|
The winner between Gambia and Liberia will face the winner between Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau in the second round of qualifying in May.
At the weekend, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) laid bare the draw for the 20th edition of the championship with the first leg to be played on 4-6 April and the return leg slated for 25-27 April 2014.
If the Darling Scorpions progressed from this make or break tie – they will still have to battle for one more place in the championship proper by beating likely opponents in Chad, Libya, Tunisia or Mauritania in the final round of qualifiers in August.
The Darling Scorpions secured third place in its first appearance at the U20 championship in 2007 in Congo Brazzaville but was kicked out of the group stages in South Africa 2011.
Countries like Nigeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, DR Congo, South Africa and Zambia will enter into the second round of the qualifiers for being better placed in continental youth level, according to CAF standards.
The last four teams at the Senegal championship will qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand in 2015.
Baby Scorpions takes on Guinea
In another development, The Gambia U-17 (also known as Baby Scorpions) will play Guinea [Conakry] in the first round of qualifiers for the African U-17 championship to be held in Niger next year.
The Gambia hosted and won the U-17 African Championship in 2005 and in 2009 in Algeria.
Should Gambia progress, it will meet Morocco in the second round and the winner over the two legs will face either Guinea Bissau, Togo or neighbouring rivals Senegal in the final round of qualifiers.
Both the U-17 (Baby Scorpions) and the U-20 (Darling Scorpions) were deprived of participation in international competition in 2012/2013 over lack of money.
The Gambia for Gold, a fundraising committee, that was setup to finance national football teams said it was cash trapped. As a result, the football association was also forced to withdraw the U-17, U-20 and even the U-23 from partaking in the London 2012 Olympic qualifiers.
Written by Modou S. Joof
Follow on Facebook: The-North-Bank-Evening-Standard