Africa’s representatives at this year’s Olympic football tournament will face a tricky challenge following the draw for the group stage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Côte d’Ivoire has been drawn in Group D alongside defending champions Brazil and Rio 2016 runners-up Germany. Saudi Arabia completes the group.

Egypt, who are two-time bronze medalists, find themselves in another tough group like Ivory Coast. The Pharaohs will face off against two former winners of the competition – Spain (Barcelona 1992) and Argentina (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008). Australia will be a stern test as well as the Socceroos always do well in the Olympics.

South Africa, meanwhile, also have a tough draw as they have also been drawn against two former winners in Mexico (London 2012) and France (Los Angeles 1984). Japan, whose best result was a third-place finish in 1968 are also strong so it will be an uphill task for the Africans.

The three African nations will be hoping to go through their respective groups in hopes of emulating the past successes by Nigeria and Cameroon who managed to win Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000, respectively.

Elsewhere, Africa’s sole representative in the women’s tournament is Zambia and they have been drawn in Group F with Brazil, China and the Netherlands. Zambia is making its maiden appearance at the tournament and that is a major feat in itself.

Hosts Japan have been grouped with Canada, Great Britain and Chile in Group E while Group G, arguably the ‘Group of Death’, has Sweden, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Along with Zambia, Chile and the Netherlands will be making their maiden appearances at the tournament as well.

The Olympic Football tournament goes through a group stage, followed by the knockout rounds that will feature the quarterfinals, semifinals and gold medal match. A bronze medal match is also held between the sides that lose in the semifinals.