The Nigeria Football Federation has handed down a win-the-trophy mandate to the U-17 National Team, Golden Eaglets, as they begin campaign in the 11thAfrican U-17 Championship in Niger Republic on Sunday.
Speaking in Abuja on Friday, NFF President Amaju Pinnick reflected that as champions of the world, the Eaglets have no business finishing lower than first place at the continental finals.
“The NFF is giving the Golden Eaglets total support to conquer in Niger Republic. Our belief is that we have a team to conquer Africa. As champions of the world, we have no reason not to win in Africa.
“Coach Emmanuel Amuneke and his assistants have been doing a great job. I watched the team a number of times and I could see in the players the hunger to achieve. “
The Eaglets start their campaign on Sunday, as they tango with host nation Nigeria Republic at the General Seyni Kountche Stadium in Niamey, starting from 3pm.
The Nigerian delegation of 21 players and 10 officials, led by NFF’s Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, arrived in Niamey on Thursday amid pomp and pageantry, laid on by the Nigerian community in Niger Republic.
After playing Niger Republic on Sunday, the world champions clash with Guinea on 18thFebruary and then with Zambia on 21st February. Their first two matches are at the General Seyni Kountche Stadium, while the third is at the Stade Municipal, which has artificial turf.
All four semi finalists at the championship in Niamey will qualify to represent Africa at the FIFA U-17 World Cup taking place in Chile, 17th November – 8th November, 2015. Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and South Africa contest in Group B.