Black Starlets’ hopes of qualifying for U17 AFCON and World Cup not over yet

Published on: 27 May 2024

Ghana’s hopes of qualifying for the 2025 U17 Africa Cup of Nations are not over yet despite the team failing to reach the final of the 2024 WAFU B U17 Cup of Nations.

The Black Starlets lost 2-1 to Burkina Faso in the semifinal on Saturday at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium.

Despite this, Ghana still has a chance of ending its streak of missing two consecutive U17 AFCONs and World Cups.

The organizers of this year’s WAFU B U17 AFCON are awaiting confirmation from CAF regarding the number of teams that will qualify for the 2025 U17 AFCON, as reported by Joy Sports.

Traditionally, only the two finalists progressed to the 12-team tournament, with the top 4 subsequently earning tickets to the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

However, with the expansion of the 2025 U17 FIFA World Cup from 24 to 48 teams, Africa will now produce as many as 9 or 10 representatives, a significant increase from the previous four.

CAF now faces the decision of whether to expand their U-17 AFCON or devise an alternative format for selecting the 10 representatives.

If the tournament undergoes expansion, WAFU B could secure 3 or 4 representatives, potentially opening a pathway for the Starlets to qualify.

Their fate hinges on winning their 3rd place playoff game to maintain a strong position until a decision is reached. Qatar is set to host the next 5 editions of the now annual FIFA U-17 World Cup from 2025 through to 2029.