Futsal Africa Cup of Nations 2020 begins this week
Three FIFA Futsal World Cup places up for grabs
Between them, Egypt, Libya and Morocco won the five previous editions
For only the third time since it was first staged in 1989, the FIFA Futsal World Cup™ will feature three African teams at its 2020 edition.
Prior to the 2012 edition, CAF had been allocated just one (1992, 1996, 2000, 2004) or two (1989, 2008) berths. The three teams who will fly the flag for the Mother Continent at the next edition in Lithuania will be decided at the upcoming CAF Futsal Africa Cup of Nations.
With the regional qualifying event just days away, FIFA.com takes a closer look at the participants in what promises to be a particularly competitive tournament, featuring the winners of the five editions held so far: Egypt (3 titles), Libya (1) and Morocco (1).
Dates: 28 January to 7 February 2020
Eight teams divided into two groups of four. The top two from each group qualify for the semi-finals
At stake: winners, runners-up and third-placed side all qualify for the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™
|Group A||Group B|
Egypt are the most successful team at regional level, having been crowned African champions in 1996, 2000 and 2004, and been runners-up in 2008 and 2016. In five editions held to date, the Pharaohs have never missed a final.
Morocco are the reigning champions, with that long-awaited triumph coming after two third places (2004, 2008) and a runners-up spot (2000). Libya complete the winners’ circle with one title (2008) and one third-place finish (2000).
South Africa actually qualified for the Futsal Africa Cup of Nations 2020 but later withdrew for political reasons. Under the competition rules, Mauritius, beaten by South Africa in the qualifiers, took their place in the final tournament.
Three teams will be making their tournament debut: Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius.
Argentina's Hernan Garcias fights for the ball with Egypt's Ramadan Samasry
Seven teams have represented Africa on the world stage: Algeria (1), Egypt (6), Libya (2), Morocco (2), Mozambique (1), Nigeria (1), Zimbabwe (1).
Of those, only Egypt have so far gone beyond the first round, a feat they managed three times (second round in 2000 and 2012, and quarter-finals in 2016).
At the last edition in 2016 in Colombia, Africa was represented by Egypt, Morocco and Mozambique. While the latter two lost all three of their group games, Egypt progressed to the knockout stage as one of best third-place sides thanks to a 7-1 rout of Cuba. They then won their last-16 clash with Italy (4-3 a.e.t), before losing out to Argentina (5-0) in the quarter-finals.
"I cannot promise victories, but we're going to treat every game like it was a final. I’m certain there are good players in our squad. The inclusion of players based in Europe means this team can spring a surprise." Equatorial Guinea coach Ricardo Iniguez Calabuig
"This tournament will be notable for the intensity of the competition, given the participation of top teams like Egypt, Libya, Angola and Mozambique. But our squad are serious contenders to win the title and ensure our place at the next World Cup." Morocco coach Hicham Dekik
"It’s an honour to participate in a Futsal CAN, as it's been 40 years since we reached the final phase of a continental tournament." Mauritian Football Federation President Soubha Samir