The stage is set in Enugu, Nigeria, for the grand opening of the 2019 IBSA Blind Football African Championships.
The fourth version of the competition draws together eight blind football nations from Africa who will contest for the decorated title of African Champions, which guarantees the last football 5-a-side qualification slot for Tokyo 2020.
An eight-team competition means this year's African Championships will be the biggest ever, beating the previous high of six teams in 2015 in Cameroon. Three teams will be making their official international debut at the championships - the hosts Nigeria, Niger and Libya - showing the continued growth of blind football in the continent.
Caption: Mali’s Bandiougou Traore takes a shot at Egypt’s goal during the group stages of the 2017 IBSA Blind Football African Championships in Praia, Cape Verde.
Following the draw, made in Enugu on Saturday, the groups are as follows:
Reigning champions Morocco, who claimed the trophy for the third time in Cape Verde in 2017, will be looking to claim their fourth African title in Nigeria. However, the reigning champions will face stern opposite in the form of 2017 silver medallists Mali, bronze medallists Egypt, hosts Nigeria, newcomers Libya, and 2015 runners-up Cameroon, who make an exciting return to international competition.
Hosted by Bina Foundation
at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, the opening ceremony of the African Championships takes place later today, followed by the opening match between Nigeria and Cameroon.
Monday 25th November - group stage
Nigeria vs Cameroon
Libya vs Ivory Coast
Morocco vs Mali
Niger vs Egypt
Tuesday 26th November - group stage
09:00 Nigeria vs Libya
11:30 Cameroon vs Ivory Coast
14:00 Morocco vs Niger
16:30 Mali vs Egypt
Wednesday 27th November - group stage
09:00 Cameroon vs Libya
11:30 Nigeria vs Ivory Coast
14:00 Mali vs Niger
16:30 Moroccos vs Egypt
Thursday 28th November - rest day
Friday 29th November - placement matches
09:00 7th-8th place play-off: 4th group A vs 4th group B
11:30 5th-6th place play-off: 3rd group A vs 3rd group B
14:00 semi-final 1: 1st group A vs 2nd group B
16:30 semi-final 2: 1st Group b vs 2nd group A
Saturday 30th November - finals
09:00 3rd place match: loser semi-final 1 vs loser semi-final 2
11:30 Final: winner semi-final 1 vs winner semi-final 2
Matches will be streamed live on the Bina Foundation Facebook page
Caption: poster for the 2019 IBSA Blind Football African Championships.