After spectacularly overcoming steep odds at the start of the regional tournament, the Nigerian national cadet team is on the verge of triumph
The Senate President Ahmad Lawan has pledged the National Assembly’s support to the Golden Eaglets as they battle Ivory Coast in the final of the WAFU B Afcon Qualifying Tournament. on Monday.
Lawan, who spoke to NAN as per the Guardian through his Special Adviser on Sports, Sani Fema, promised to host and reward the boys should they emerge winners of the competition.
Nigeria’s U-17 boys lost 0-1 to Monday’s opponents in their opening match in Togo and drew their second game against Ghana.
But the Fatai Amoo-tutored lads sneaked into the semifinals after the Little Elephants slammed a 3-1 defeat on the Black Starlets.
And against one of the tournament’s favourites, Burkina Faso, the Golden Eaglets pulled off a shock 1-0 win to make it to the finals and book their ticket for the Afcon proper in Morocco.
The Nigerian boys’ never-say-die attitude has attracted the attention of the legislative arm of government.
“The National Assembly and the office of the Senate President are supporting the Golden Eaglets 100 per cent, and the team will be invited, on arrival after they must have lifted the trophy,” Lawan said.
“The team should remember that Nigeria is the most decorated under-17 football team in the world and anything short of the championship trophy will not be good for a world champion.
“In spite of not recording fantastic results in the group stage, the team was able to move into the final, that is the spirit of a champion, and I want them to exhibit that on Monday.
“They should not lower the standard during their time because football unites Nigerians.”
The Golden Eaglets are five-time world champions, having lifted the trophy in 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013, and 2015.
But the Nigerians are underdogs against the Little Elephants, having fallen to the Ivorians earlier in the tournament.
Venue of the match will be Togo’s main stadium, the Stade De Kegue.