The Gambia have been placed in Group F to face former champions France, Honduras and Korea Republic.
The draw for the team distribution and match schedule of 2023 FIFA U-20 was held by FIFA at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, on Friday 21 April, setting the stage for next month’s grand showcase of football’s future stars.
A tough challenge awaits The Gambia’s Scorpions in Argentina as they will be facing these top teams in the tournament’s group stages, with their first match to be played on Monday 22 May against Honduras at the Mendoza Stadium in the Argentine city of Mendoza.
Twenty-four teams were slotted into six groups of four during the draw, hosted by presenter Samantha Johnson and conducted by FIFA Director of Tournaments Jaime Yarza.
Likewise, Group A comprises Argentina (host), Uzbekistan, Guatemala, New Zealand; Group B comprises USA, Ecuador, Fiji and Slovakia; Group C comprises African giant Senegal, Japan, Israel and Colombia; Group D has Italy, Brazil, Nigeria and the Dominican Republic, and Group E has Uruguay, Iraq, England and Tunisia.
The tournament host Argentina, who automatically qualified for the tournament after replacing Indonesia as host, shall be playing the opening match against Uzbekistan on 20 May.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup will take place between 20 May and 11 June 2023 across four Argentine cities – La Plata, Mendoza, San Juan and Santiago del Estero.
The biennial global youth tournament will kick off with four matches on the opening day in San Juan and Santiago del Estero, including host Argentina taking on Uzbekistan in Santiago del Estero Stadium. Both cities will also host the quarter-final round, while La Plata Stadium will host the semifinals, 3rd place match and the final.
In anticipation of the global showpiece, the FIFA Referees Committee has already selected 25 referees and 38 assistant referees for the tournament.
In addition, 18 video match officials have been appointed as well.
In the interim, the Scorpions have already started training in anticipation of the tough competition that awaits them in Argentina, following their astonishing performance bout in Egypt last month, where they were guided to their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) by the tactical Gambian Coach Abdoulie Bojang.
The Gambia first participated in the U-20 World Cup in 2007 in Canada, where they were eliminated by Austria in the knockout stages.