Bayatt Lekwiry of Mauritanian is the youngest player in AFCON 2021, as well as the youngest player in AFCON history, at the age of 16 years and 8 months.
After being picked for the Mauritania U-20 national team at the age of 15, the youngster made his elite sports debut in the U-20 Arab Cup in Saudi Arabia in 2020, where he was praised for his graceful performance.
However, owing to injury, he was unable to compete in U-20 AFCON that took place in Mauritania, his home country last February – March.
Bayatt Lekwiry isn’t alone in the AFCON; he’s joined by a slew of his peers from other countries, ensuring that the cup is genuinely interesting for the globe to watch.
Ibrahim Sesay, a 17-year-old Sierra Leone goalkeeper, is another of the AFCON 2021’s youngest participants.
The teenager put up a classy performance in the Sierra Leone Premier League, earning him a call to make his top-flight debut in a friendly match with the national side against the Gambia, where he also showed off his goalkeeping skills. All of this led to his inclusion in the AFCON 2021.
Abdul Fatawu, a 17-year-old Ghanian wonderkid, and Hannibal Mejbri, an 18-year-old Tunisian, will both be playing in the midfield for their respective countries at the AFCON.
Abdul Fatawu has represented Ghana at the U17 and U20 levels, all with outstanding results that speak volumes about his career.
Hannibal Mejbri, who was born and bred in France, made his Tunisian debut in 2021. He previously played for the France U16 and U17 national teams.
These young athletes will be competing in their first AFCON and will be trying to be a symbol of hope for their countries.