Abuja - Issa Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), has charged the Golden Eaglets to set a tournament record by winning a fourth FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Hayatou gave the charge during a visit to the camp of the Golden Eaglets in the UAE.
A statement by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said that Hayatou visited the team in company of CAF’s first vice-president, Almamy Camara, and Mohamed Raouraoua, a FIFA executive committee member.
"You have displayed a high level of skills and intelligence in this tournament that we have not seen in an African team for a long time.
"I am not surprised at your progress because I saw you at the African U-17 Championship in Morocco and I was highly impressed.
"I am particularly excited with your performance against Uruguay, in spite of missing a number of injured players.
"I believe you are already in the final. The African football family is fully behind you,” Hayatou was quoted in the statement as saying.
The CAF boss urged the Eaglets to forget the country’s triumphs in the past and focus on writing their own names in gold.
He said: "Nigeria has won the competition three times before, but that was done by other players.
"Now, it is your opportunity to write your own names in gold. I believe you have the talent, intelligence and resilience to go all the way.”
Alhaji Aminu Maigari, the chairman of the NFF, assured that the Eaglets would be fully motivated to go all out against the Swedes in Tuesday’s semi-final tie at the Rashid Stadium, Dubai.
Eaglets coach, Manu Garba, called his boys "great warriors of Africa," noting that Hayatou’s visit was a massive motivation.
Garba assured that the Eaglets cannot fail Africa at this stage.
"We will take our remaining challenges in the tournament one at a time, starting with the semi-final game against Sweden on Tuesday evening.”