The contingent of Nigeria’s U-17 boys Golden Eaglets has arrived in Niamey, Niger Republic for the WAFU Zone B U-17 Tournament.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tournament which is expected to run from Sept. 2 to Sept. 15, serves as the qualifying competition for the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations.
Ademola Olajire, Nigeria Football Federation’s (NFF) Director of Communications, said on Friday in Abuja that some of the players and officials departed from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in the early hours of Friday.
“A total of 16 players and members of the technical crew as well as backroom staff departed Abuja aboard an ASKY Airline flight.
“The remaining four players as well as Head Coach, Manu Garba and Team Administrator, Sirajo Hassan, who could not travel on Friday as there were not enough seats available on the flight, will fly from Abuja on Saturday,’’ Olajire said in a statement.
NAN also reports that a new format had been approved for the competition at the CAF Extra-Ordinary General Assembly which took place in Rabat in July 2017.
The new format sees countries in each regional block gather in one country within the block to play a qualifying tournament as against the old format of home-and-away qualifying series.
Only the winning team from each of the blocks (apart from the block of the defending champions that will produce two teams) will qualify for the final tournament slated for Tanzania next year.
The Eaglets will play their first match of the tournament on Sept. 3, against their Burkina Faso counterparts before taking on Cote d’Ivoire on Sept. 6 and Benin Republic on Sept. 9.
Host Niger Republic will trade tackles with Ghana’s Black Starlets and the Baby Hawks of Togo in the 7-Nation WAFU Zone B.