'Nigeria is rated number one in the world' - Manu Garba urges CAF to allocate extra slots to WAFU B

Published: May 28, 2024
'Nigeria is rated number one in the world' - Manu Garba urges CAF to allocate extra slots to WAFU B

Five-time world champions Nigeria edged Ghana 3-2 in an entertaining game at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium on Tuesday evening to secure a third place finish at the 2024 WAFU Zone B U17 Championship. 

The Fifa U17 World Cup has been expanded to 48 teams, with Africa expected to produce ten representatives for next year's tournament in Qatar. 

The Confederation of African Football will confirm in the coming days whether three or four teams will qualify from WAFU B for the U17 Africa Cup of Nations. 

Nigeria would have secured an automatic spot in the Africa Cup of Nations if they had defeated Ivory Coast in the semifinals of the WAFU Zone B U17 Championship.

Speaking at the post-match press conference shortly after his side defeated the Black Starlets, Golden Eaglets manager Manu Garba made a case for four teams to qualify from WAFU Zone B to the U17 AFCON.

Garba highlighted that the Golden Eaglets are the most successful team in FIFA U17 World Cup history, with Ghana ranking third overall since the competition began in 1985.

"We have communicated with the Federation. They know that we started late and I believe we will prepare very well for the Africa Cup of Nations," Garba todl reporters. 

"It is said that ten countries are going to represent Africa in the World Cup so I believe CAF will do well to take all the four teams from the WAFU B Zone that qualified for the semifinals. Why? Because WAFU B is the stronghold of African football when it comes to the youth level.

"Like I said in one of the post-match press conferences, Nigeria is rated number one in the world at U17 level, followed by Brazil, then Ghana. 

"We also have Ivory Coast who have won bronze. Even Niger, why shouldn't CAF give us four slots from this zone.

"It is imperative for the WAFU officials to follow up on this. I can only imagine an AFCON without the likes of Ghana or Nigeria so that's my plea to WAFU, to make sure they get four teams to the AFCON from this group."

The Golden Eaglets won the U17 AFCON in 2001 and 2007 and picked up silver medals in 1995 and 2013.

Ifeanyi Emmanuel 


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