By Albert Akota
Five –time champions Nigeria have landed in host nation Brazil for this year’s FIFA World Cup finals which will hold 26th October – 17th November.
A team of 25 players and nine officials flew out of the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday evening for Dubai, where they connected another flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Four players would be cut from the roster after the preparatory period before a 21 –man World Cup squad is unveiled ahead of the opening encounter.
Nigeria won the 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015 tournaments, but missed the 2017 finals in India. Head Coach Manu Garba, who led the 2013 winners, is confident that the Class of 2019 is in Brazil to reclaim the trophy.
The early departure will afford the Golden Eaglets a full two-week final preparatory period, before their opening match of the tournament against Hungary in Goiania on 26th October.
Nigeria will then clash with Ecuador (at the same venue on 29th October) and Australia (in Brasilia on 1st November) in Group B.
Vitoria is the other city hosting the 24 –nation championship.
FIFA U17 WORLD CUP BRAZIL 2019 GROUPS
GROUP A: Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Angola
GROUP B: Nigeria, Hungary, Ecuador, Australia
GROUP C: Korea Republic, Haiti, France, Chile
GROUP D: USA, Senegal, Japan, Netherlands
GROUP E: Spain, Argentina, Tajikistan, Cameroon
GROUP F: Solomon Islands, Italy, Paraguay, Mexico