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Over-aged players flood Eaglets’ camp

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The camp of the national U-17 team, the Eaglets, was flooded with over aged players as one of the former handlers who pleaded for anonymity prays that Nigeria does not incur the wrath of FIFA by the time the tournament gets underway. When our correspondent visited the FIFA Goal Project camp of the team, the squad was taking on Fosla Academy Football Club in a friendly match.

Most of the players spoken to said their age did not matter as long as they could gain invitation into the team. “This is the third time I am coming for trials here and I have not been successful, I think I will make it this time around, not considering my age,” one of them told our correspondent. A former handler of the team, who begged for anonymity, said his fear was not to incur FIFA’ wrath because of the players in camp for selection.

This was however doused by a former official of the team that it was just a screening exercise as those that would be eventually picked would undergo the MRI test to verify their ages. “It is a mere screening exercise. 

The main team would still be scrutinized to ascertain the true ages of the players,” he explained. Coach Manu Garba is sweating out with his assistants to pick the new squad that will represent Nigeria in Peru next year.

Garba is being assisted by Nduka Ugbade, a partnership that saw the country win a fourth U-17 FIFA World Cup five years ago. The team are billed for a tough qualifying tournament, which will, for the first time, be played on a zonal basis, with archrivals Ghana hosting that involving Nigeria with the overall winners advancing to the tournament proper next year. Nigeria failed to qualify for the last championship after she was ousted by Sudan.

New Telegraph


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