Consternation is buzzing in the camp of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets team preparing for next month’s Under-17 AFCON qualifiers in Benin Republic as 40 of the 60 players listed to prosecute the tournament have failed the mandatory MRI age test barely two weeks to the tournament.
This development has thrown the team’s coaching crew led by Fatai Amoo into deep crisis as they struggle to select a brand new squad to fly the country’s flag at the WAFU B qualifiers that begins on January 5.
Only 20 players passed the mandatory tests. Out of these, only five are in the main team.
“From what I gathered, 40 of the 60 players who did the MRI test failed and they were mainly the players the coach was seriously banking on for the competition,” an insider hinted.
Some of the affected players include those from the national U-16 team, who featured at an invitational tournament in Japan last year.
They will now have no other option but to head home in total disappointment as their hopes have been dashed.
Nigeria cannot afford to cut corners as the new rule says “Once a player or two fail the test the entire team is expelled from the competition”
Nigeria is drawn in Group B of the U-17 qualifiers along with rivals Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
The two finalists of the tournament will advance to the U-17 AFCON final tournament.