The Nigerian U-17 team are two-time African champions, but the current set won’t get the chance to make it three despite qualifying for the event
Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets will no longer participate in the Africa U-17 Championship in Morocco after CAF decided to cancel the event.
The tournament was scheduled to take place between March 13-31, but it has now been cancelled, CAF has announced. Africa’s football governing body emergency committee held a meeting today and decided to cancel the event.
The Committee decided to cancel the competition as it is not safe to host it in the middle of a global pandemic.
A statement on CAF’s website read: The CAF Emergency Committee met on Monday, March 08, 2021, in Rabat, Morocco, to decide on the holding of the 2021 U17 Total Africa Cup of Nations.
The Committee was made aware of the constraints faced by some of the participating member associations as well as the host country, including the fact that the coronavirus pandemic continues to present significant challenges for the organization of international sporting events.
Taking into account the cancellation by FIFA of the Under-17 World Cup for which the U-17 CAN was no longer qualifying, the Committee further noted:
• The resurgence of the Covid19 pandemic.
• Increased restrictions on international travel
• Uncertainty about the evolution of the situation
For all these reasons, the Committee decided to cancel the 2021 edition of the Total U17 Africa Cup of Nations.
However, the decision comes as a surprise as it’s been almost a year since football returned despite the coronavirus pandemic.
It also means Fatai Amoo’s Golden Eaglets won’t get the chance to win Nigeria’s third African U-17 title. The Golden Eaglets had initially qualified for the tournament after finishing as runners-up in the WAFU B qualifiers.
The team is currently preparing for the tournament in Abuja, but they are now expected depart camp following the latest news.