The cadet national team, Golden Eaglets will now head to Niger Republic in September for the African U17 Nations Cup qualifiers, after Nigeria’s northern neighbours replaced their west coast rivals, Ghana as hosts of the regional playoff competition.
Eaglets coach, Manu Garba will now turn attention on a trip to Niamey in two months to come, where the team will tango Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and hosts Niger Republic for the sole ticket to the next year’s U17 AFCON in Tanzania.
The Eaglets are currently undergoing the mandatory MRI scan in Abuja to determine whether they fall within the eligible age of the competition.
Manu’s side will face a stiffer test to pick a ticket, after continental body, CAF announced a new format of zonal finals for the qualifiers across the continent.
The qualifiers will run from mid-July to September with sole winners joining Tanzania in the tournament proper, from the play off contests in Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Tanzania and Tunisia.
Nigeria have won the U17 FIFA World Cup a record five times, but failed to qualify for the African stage last time out, even after winning the global title back to back in 2013 and 2015.