By Olusola ‘Jide @jide_olusola
The Flying Eagles coach, Paul Aigbogun has stated that he will not be needing foreign based players for the WAFU U-20 Cup Tournament.
He made this known while speaking with Daily Trust at the Goal Project stadium at the National Stadium, Abuja after a training session.
“We are not focusing on the foreign players. It is difficult for them to come for the WAFU competition because it’s not in the FIFA calendar and it will be difficult for their clubs to release them as the leagues in Europe are still on,” he said.
He also stated that he intends to use the WAFU tourney to work on his team as he prepares for the Nations Cup in 2019 which is key for Nigeria as it is the first step towards qualifying for the Cadet World Cup.
“The WAFU just came on us, it is pre-competition to the main competition. So for us, it is developmental and we can’t lose sight of the man competition. The main competition is the Nations Cup which is the qualifiers for the World Cup,” he noted.
It will be noted that the WAFU Nations Cup is an association football competition that is contested by representative teams of the West African Football Union.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s U-20 team, Flying Eagles, will battle their counterparts from Ghana, Niger Republic and Benin Republic in Group B of the WAFU U-20 Cup Tournament holding in Lome, Togo, from December 6 to 16.
Similarly, the 2019 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations will be hosted by Niger Republic to take place from 24 February to 10 March 2019.
Nigeria is arguably the most successful team at this level in Africa, having been champions of Africa at U20 level in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005, 2011 and 2015.
The top four teams at Niger 2019 will qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland as the CAF representatives.
Zambia are the defending champions of the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.