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By VINCENT OPIYO
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The Kenya national Under-23 side has been drawn against Mauritius in the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Kenya will start off their campaign between November 12 and 20 for the first round while the second and third rounds have been planned for March and June 2019.

Eight teams will qualify for the quadrennial competition to be hosted by Egypt December next year with the top three nations qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games football tourney.

Kenya U23 were knocked out by Botswana 4-1 aggregate score in the first round qualifiers of the 2015 continental age-restricted championship.

Nigeria are the defending champions after beating Algeria 2-1 in the final played in Dakar, Senegal.

Neighbours Uganda kick start the campaign against minnows South Sudan, Burundi versus Tanzania while Ethiopia will play Somalia in an all Cecafa region fixture.

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Kenya U23, who recently played Azerbaijan in two friendly matches, under the tutelage of Mathare United coach Francis Kimanzi will be hoping to assemble a talented squad that can qualify for their maiden championship.

Meanwhile, Harambee Starlets have missed out on the chance to return to Africa Women’s Cup of Nations finals scheduled for Ghana from November 17 to December 1 after the Confederation of African Football (Caf) confirmed the eight participants.

Equatorial Guinea, who eliminated Starlets 3-2 aggregate score in the final round in June join Algeria, Cameroon, Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and hosts Ghana.

Kenya had reported the Nzalang Nacional to Caf for fielding an ineligible player, Celestina Manga Besecu, who according to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is Cameroonian and her real name is Fadimatou Veronique Nsongone.

Their appeal seems to have been thrown out by the continental body according to sources. 



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