Nigeria’s U-20 female football team, the Falconets, have secured a place in the third round of the African qualifiers for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Colombia, Soccernet.ng report.
Falconets’ advancement came about without the team setting foot on the pitch, courtesy of the withdrawal of the Mauritius Football Association from the ongoing African qualifiers.
A statement issued by Ademola Olajire, the Director of Communications at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), revealed that the Confederation of African Football (CAF) communicated the withdrawal of Mauritius via a formal letter.
The statement from CAF stated, “Kindly note that CAF was informed of the withdrawal of Mauritius Football Association from the African qualifiers of the FIFA U-20 WWC 2024. Consequently, Nigeria is qualified to the next round of the competition, and the missions of all officials of matches 37 & 38 are cancelled.”
The Falconets had been preparing for their upcoming match against Mauritius, with the first leg originally scheduled to take place in Saint Pierre next week. The return leg was planned for the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on October 14.
🚨Colombia 2024: Falconets progress to third round as Mauritius withdraw.— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) September 28, 2023
🇲🇺 Mauritius have withdrawn from next week's #FWWCU20 qualifier against the 🇳🇬Falconets.
This means Nigeria have now progressed to the next round of qualifiers. pic.twitter.com/nCHdNzq9cK
The Falconets have a strong history in the competition, having reached the finals in 2010 and 2014, and the semi-finals in 2012, establishing themselves as the most successful African team in the tournament.
Recalled that Sao Tome and Principe’s women’s national team also withdrew from facing Nigeria in the qualifying rounds for the 2024 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations.
The Central African side had initially been slated to square off against the 11-time AWCON champions in a first-round qualifying fixture scheduled for this month.
Nigeria’s women’s national teams continue to exhibit dominance at various levels of women’s football in Africa, cementing their position as the most successful in the continent.