Lagos - Golden Eaglets coach Manu Garba is under pressure to find new players that will be fit for the CAF U17 qualifier against Niger at the weekend after his starting 11 reportedly failed MRI scan.
26 Golden Eaglets players out of 60 in the team’s camp failed the mandatory MRI test, reports AfricanFootball.
However, report obtained by News24 on Thursday says Garba and the entire coaching crew is doing everything within their powers to get fit players who pass the MRI scan for the game.
Nigeria football has been hit with many challenges lately. There is crisis in the administration of the game as two factional groups are claiming to be in charge of the federation.
Nigeria’s senior national team, the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON, and just in July, the Flying Eagles also failed to qualify for the U20 AFCON, losing 4-3 to Sudan in Lagos in the final leg of the qualifier. Nigeria had beaten Sudan 2-1 away in the first leg. This means the Nigerian side will not get a chance to qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup, as only the top finishers at the continental tournament will represent Africa.
Also read: Golden Eaglets to face Junior Menas in Abuja
On Thursday, the Dream were only able to travel out of Atlanta to Brazil and are expected to arrive Manaus by 2pm local, six hours to the kick off of their first game against Japan at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
If the Golden Eaglets, the world’s U17 defending champions, fail to beat Niger on Saturday, the team will be under pressure and Nigeria football will be heading to a total blackout.
It's not the first time that age fraud has been discovered in the Nigerian youth system: back in 1989 the nation's youth teams were banned for two years for faking players' birth dates at the 1988 Olympics, for example.
News24 reported that NFF 2nd Vice President and LMC Chairman, Mallam Shehu Dikko said the Golden have skills after they beat Sia-One academy in a friendly.
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- News24 Nigeria