2011 CAF U-23 Championship
|بطولة إفريقيا تحت 23 سنة لكرة القدم 2011|
|Dates||26 November – 10 December|
|Teams||8 (from 1 confederation)|
|Venue(s)||2 (in 2 host cities)|
|Champions||Gabon (1st title)|
|Goals scored||35 (2.19 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)|| Abdelaziz Barrada |
The 2011 CAF U-23 Championship was the first edition of the football tournament for players under 23 years. It was originally scheduled to be hosted by Egypt from 26 November to 10 December 2011. However, less than two months prior to the start of the tournament, Egyptian authorities decided against hosting the competition because of security concerns. On 13 October 2011, Morocco was chosen as the replacement to host the tournament.
The tournament also doubles up as the qualifiers for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The top 3 placed teams qualified automatically for the 2012 Summer Olympics football tournament, while the 4th best placed team qualify for a play-off with an AFC counterpart.
The Confederation of African Football chose to create a tournament and qualifying phase to decide which associations could represent Africa at the 2012 Olympic Games. Of CAF's 53 association nations, 39 agreed to participate in the qualifiers for the tournament.
To qualify for the tournament, participating nations had to overcome three two-legged qualifying stages.
|Stade de Marrakech||Stade de Tanger|
|Capacity: 45,000||Capacity: 45,000|
The following referees were chosen for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.
All times given as local time (UTC)
If two or more teams tied in their points, the following tie-breaker is used:
- Points in the matches between the concerned teams,
- Goal difference in the matches between the concerned teams,
- Number of goals in the matches between the concerned teams,
- Goal difference in all group matches,
- Number of goals in all group matches,
- Fair Play point (number of yellow and red cards),
- Drawing of lots.
|Teams that advanced to the semifinals|
|Lawal 47', 75', 85'
|South Africa||1–1||Ivory Coast|
|Bhengu 21'||Report||Griffiths 81'|
|Lengoualama 80'||Report||Masango 40'|
|El Nenny 46'
|Ndong Mba 46', 49' (pen.)
All times given as local time (UTC+1)
|Third place play-off|
|Report||Barrada 1', 9'
Third place play-off
|2011 CAF U-23 Championship Winners|
The team of the tournament with substitutes:
- Goalkeeper: Ahmed El Shenawy
- Defenders: Mahan Marc Goua, Moaz El-Henawy, Remy Ebanega, Zakarya Bergdich
- Midfielders: Sameehg Doutie, Hossam Hassan, Abdelaziz Barrada, Raheem Lawal
- Forwards: Youness Mokhtar, Abdoulaye Sané
- Subs: Ousmane Mané (GK); Ahmed Hegazy and Mohamed Salah, Allen Nono, Laglais Xavier Kouassi and Jean Michael Seri, Soufiane Bidaoui and Adnane Tighadouini, Danny Uchechi, Mohamed Chalali
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Mehdi Benaldjia
- Baghdad Bounedjah
- Georges Henri Griffiths
- Moussa Koné
- Lacina Traoré
- Ahmed Magdi
- Marwan Mohsen
- Mohamed Elneny
- Mohamed Salah
- Saleh Gomaa
- Johan Diderot Lengoualama
- Allen Nono
- Landry Obiang Obiang
- André Biyogo Poko
- Lionel Yacouya
- Adnane Tighadouini
- Kara Mbodj
- Abdoulaye Sané
- Omar Wade
- Phumelele Bhengu
- Mandla Masango
Some have questioned the need for the tournament and believe that the CAF-organised Under-23 football tournament, the 2011 All-Africa Games' football tournament should have been used as a qualifying tournament. The increase in number of national U-23 fixtures caused some domestic league schedules to be revised and some league games took place with weakened teams.
There has been criticism from fans towards clubs who have not allowed their players to participate in the qualifying stages as the tournament is not featured on the FIFA Calendar whilst the Olympics tournament is. In effect this means that African nations can call on European-based players for the Olympic tournament who were not able to participate in qualifying due to club commitments.
Qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics
- Senegal – qualified for an inter-continental play-off against the fourth representative of the Pre-Olympic Tournament in Asian zone
- "Football - 2012 Olympic qualifying tournament". bbc.co.uk. 14 January 2011. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
- Egypt denied from staging Olympic qualifiers; FilGoal.com, 10 October 2011.
- Morocco to host Olympic qualifying tournament; BBC, 13 October 2011.
- "Egypt hosting Olympic qualifier". FIFA. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
- "Egypt to host CAF U-23 Championship serving as 2012 London Olympic qualifiers". cafonline.com. Confederation of African Football. 22 August 2011.
- "Referees". CAF Online. Confederation of African Football. Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
- "Regulations of the African U-23 Championship, Morocco 2011" (PDF). CAF. Retrieved 30 November 2011. (see art. 35.6)
- "Best eleven CAF U-23 African Championship 2011". CAF Online. Confederation of African Football. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Who is fooling who?". Botswana Gazette. 26 January 2011. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
- "Ghana's U-23 soccer team transit through Nairobi". MichezofAfrika.com. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.