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Jordan U-23 football team prepares for qualifiers

By Aline Bannayan - Jan 29,2017 - Last updated at Jan 29,2017

AMMAN — Jordan’s U-23 football team has just concluded a training camp in Aqaba as the  squad starts preparations for qualifiers for the third edition of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship in 2018.

The national team is set to play a series of friendlies and hold training camps ahead of the qualifiers which are slated for July, bringing together 42 nations divided into 10 groups, with 16 advancing to the finals.

In 2016, Jordan was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 2016 AFC U-23 Championship in Qatar. The Kingdom failed to make it to the top four and a possible Olympic slot, with the continent’s top three advancing to the Olympic Games football tournament in Rio de Janeiro, which was won by Brazil.

In the inaugural AFC U-22 Championship in 2014 (now renamed the AFC U-23 Championship), Jordan took third place when they beat South Korea, while Iraq won the title after defeating Saudi Arabia.

In 2015, Jordan’s U-23 squad was eliminated from the 1st West Asian U-23 Championship, and in 2014, the line-up represented Jordan at the Asian Games, where they made it to the quarter-finals.

The younger squads are also training for their respective Asian qualifiers. The U-19 team, which qualified to the Asian Championship four times and previously reached the FIFA Youth World Cup in Canada in 2007, was last eliminated from the qualifying rounds of the 2016 Championship. Jordan finished fourth in 2006, but exited the group stages in 2008 and 2010 and reached the quarters in 2012. Jordan failed to qualify to the 2014 Championship as well. Similarly, the U-16 team is now steadily preparing for their Asian qualifiers. In 2015, the U-16 squad failed to advance to the 2016 AFC U-16 Asian Championship.

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