Egypt to host Olympic qualifying tournament

A sphinx decorates the interior of the Cairo International Stadium
Egypt will host Africa's maiden Under-23 finals, where the best three teams out of the eight participants will qualify for London 2012

Egypt will stage the African men's final Olympic qualifying round.

The North Africans will host the eight-team tournament from 26 November to 10 December, with the top three sides qualifying for London 2012.

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) is labelling the competition as Africa's first Under-23 Championships.

The continent already has competitions at both Under-17 and Under-20 level, where the top three qualify for Fifa's finals at those age levels.

The draw for the tournament will be held in September during Caf's Executive Committee meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where the teams will be divided into two groups of four.

Alongside hosts Egypt, the other participating teams are Algeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.

The top three-placed teams automatically qualify for London while the fourth best team will engage a team from Asia in a play-off.

The Egyptians have represented Africa at the Olympics football tournament a record 10 times while Gabon and Senegal are seeking a first appearance.

The London Olympics will take place from 27 July to 12 August 2012.

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