Nigeria are among the most successful teams at the youth championships but a title has eluded the West Africans for the last eight years
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau, has urged the Flying Eagles to make claiming a FIFA U20 World Cup ticket their minimum target when the CAF U20 Africa Cup of Nations kicks off this weekend.
The U20 Afcon will also serve as the qualification campaign for the World Cup, with the four teams to make the semifinals guaranteed a spot at the Mundial later in the year.
As part of their preparations for the U-20 Afcon finals in Egypt, the Nigeria U-20 national team defeated Congo 2-1 in a friendly at the Complexe Sportif Sidi Mohammed on Sunday.
NFF President Ibrahim Gusau commended the Flying Eagles for the victory and assured the team of all the necessary support and attention from the football-ruling body.
More importantly, the football administrator reminded the three-time African champions that the goal in Egypt is a top-four finish.
What has been said?
“I congratulate you all for emerging victorious against the Congolese team,” Gusau said, as per the Telegraph.
“It was a well-deserved victory because you played well. I believe there are a lot of good players here that will make the generality of Nigerians proud.
“The NFF is working to ensure that you get all the support needed to excel and that’s why I directed the secretariat to settle all your camping allowances which was done before your departure. All you have to do is go out there and make Nigerians proud.
“Getting to the semi-finals is paramount because that guarantees us a place in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia; so I urge you to seal that ticket and then get to the final and win the trophy.”
The Flying Eagles are scheduled to play one more warmup game against the Central African Republic on Wednesday before leaving for Cairo on Thursday.
Nigeria’s opening Afcon u-20 match in Egypt is against West African rivals Senegal on Sunday, February 19.
The Eagles will trade tackles with hosts Egypt on Wednesday, February 22 before completing their group stage exertions with a face-off against Mozambique on Saturday, February 25.