Golden Eaglets: Nigeria Missing Out on the FIFA U-17 World Cup Explained

Golden Eaglets: Nigeria Missing Out on the FIFA U-17 World Cup Explained

Chukwu Ikechukwu
May 29, 2024 at 8:28 AM
In this article:
Nigeria logo
CAF U17 Championship logo
CAF U17 Championship
FIFA U17 World Cup logo
FIFA U17 World Cup
  • Nigeria will not partake in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Qatar
  • The Golden Eaglets won bronze at the WAFU B U17 Championship
  • Qatar will host five consecutive FIFA U17 World Cup tournaments

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The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has clarified that Nigeria will not participate in the upcoming Africa U17 Cup of Nations which serves as qualifier for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.

Nigerians had jubilated after news filtered around that the Golden Eaglets had qualified for the African championship after the team secured a bronze medal at the WAFU B U17 Championship.

Nigeria. Golden Eaglets, FIFA, CAF, World Cup, Ghana
Nigeria's Golden Eaglets have failed to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup next year in Qatar. Photo by NurPhoto.
Source: Getty Images

According to Complete Sports, the Golden Eaglets had secured a 3-2 victory over arch-rivals Ghana in the third-place match of the WAFU Championship after both teams had lost their semi-final duels.

Ghana lost 2-1 to Burkina Faso while Ivory Coast edged Nigeria 1-0 as well and the two nations will represent the West African region at the African championship later this year.

Nigeria, who have won the FIFA Under-17 World Cup five times, also failed to qualify for the previous edition of the competition.

Why did Nigeria not qualify?

CAF has confirmed that only 12 teams will participate in the 2024 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations and will not be expanding the competition to 16 countries as widely speculated, Soccernet reports.

This means only the two finalists from the different regional championships will qualify for the Under-17 AFCON, thereby no place for the third-place teams.

FIFA recently allocated 10 slots to Africa for the 2025 FIFA U17 World Cup, which will be hosted by Qatar, but CAF will only pick its qualifiers from the African Championship.

Nigeria had hoped that if the African championship’s participating teams had increased to 16 teams, the Golden Eaglets would have stood a good chance of qualifying for the World Cup.

Golden Eaglets held to stalemate

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria kicked off their WAFU Zone B U17 Championship with a goalless draw against Burkina Faso at the University of Ghana Stadium.

Newly appointed coach Manu Garba was unable to guide his team to a perfect start in the competition as they looked forward to the next game.

The former Nigeria under-20 coach lined up his team in a 4-3-3 formation, with Rapha Adam leading the attack and Imrana Muhammad and Ibrahim Abdulganiyu as the wingers.

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Chukwu Ikechukwu
Chukwu Ikechukwu Godwin is a journalist with over 9 years of experience in the Nigerian media industry. He has worked both in Radio (Today FM, Rhythm FM, Wish FM) and Television (Silverbird TV) as a Sports Analyst..