The Nigeria Football Federation have explained why they decided that the U-17 national team, the Golden Eaglets, will participate in the forthcoming 2016 U-19 Suwon Continental Cup tournament.
General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, told thenff.com on Thursday that the Federation is encouraged to sustain the team’s momentum and prepare it for bigger challenges as a result of the series of examinations done to ascertain the fact they are truly U-17 players.
The Eaglets lost out to Niger Republic in the qualifiers for the African U-17 Cup of Nations.
“Apart from the tests conducted by the NFF, there was a medical team from CAF that subjected the players to another thorough examination. We are very sure the boys are U-17 players and we must do everything to prepare them for bigger challenges, as they will constitute the next U-20 team," Sanusi said.
“They showed naivety and a level of innocence in the way they approached the match in Niger Republic, and that was partly why they were intimidated out of the African qualifying series.”
Sanusi assured that apart from the Suwon tournament, the NFF will keep the team busy in the coming year with a series of invitational tournaments and friendly matches, to get the players exposed and more mature for the qualifying series of 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.
A team of 22 players and 10 officials of the Golden Eaglets will depart Nigeria on Monday for Korea Republic, for the U-19 Suwon Continental Cup.
The Eaglets are scheduled to take on their counterparts from England on Wednesday, 9 November, play Iran the following day and tackle the host team on Saturday, 12 November.