Excitement is building for the upcoming 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and Nigeria’s Flying Eagles are gearing up for the challenge.
The seven-time continental champions qualified for the World Cup after reaching the semifinals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt last week.
The Flying Eagles defeated Tunisia 4-0 in their final match in the land of the Pharaohs to pocket a fourth Afcon bronze medal and head to the World Cup with confidence.
Ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the tournament’s draw has been scheduled for March 31, 2023, at the Taman Werdhi Budaya Art Centre in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. The 24 qualified teams are expected to be drawn into six groups of four.
Nigeria have been seeded in Pot 3 ahead of the draw on March 31, which means they could potentially face off against European powerhouses like Italy, USA, or France, who are seeded in Pot 1 alongside African champions Senegal.
The Ladan Bosso-tutored boys can also be pitted together with hosts Indonesia, who have been automatically seeded to Pot 1 and placed into the first position of Group A.
However, Nigeria cannot be paired with a fellow African team, and two teams from the same continent cannot be placed in the same group, with the exception of European countries.
Aside from Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, and Tunisia are the other representatives from Africa.
Additionally, teams from Pots 2, 3, and 4 must skip groups to avoid geographical clashes. For example, Israel cannot be drawn with Indonesia or Iraq due to a lack of diplomatic recognition.
Nigeria will aim for a first World title, having won silver medals in 1989 and 2005 after coming second against Portugal and Argentina, respectively.
Ukraine is the current holder of the U-20 World Cup trophy. The World Cup will take place from May 20 through June 11, 2023, in Indonesia.
2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup seeding