Nigeria’s U-17 national team coach, Manu Garba has said his boys are not yet ready for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup finals billed for Brazil later this month.
Garba stirred the hornets nest when he said his present squad is not likely to deliver the diadem in Brazil.
Winner of the global championship in Dubai, UAE in 2013, Garba pointed out that the UEFA/CAF International Tournament in Turkey proved an ideal opportunity for him to appraise the team.
“The players we have at the moment, I doubt, cannot deliver for the country at the upcoming U-17 World Cup in Brazil,” Garba lamented.
The three games we played gave the technical crew opportunity to assess the players and of course identify some errors in the team,” Garba said.
Garba pointed out that the Golden Eaglets’ 4-2 defeat to Senegal in the tournament was painful and avoidable.
“We were leading 2-1 before half time, but losing the game 4-2 in the second half was painful and of course avoidable,” he added
“The same (Senegalese) team travelled to France for another tournament before coming to play in the UEFA/CAF tournament in Turkey.
“The Senegalese prepared better than any other team. They had eight players that played in the All Africa Games and they were in France for another competition before coming to Turkey.
“We were not supposed to lose the game to them but for the errors we noticed in the team.
“We went to Turkey to assess all the players that went there, and to be candidz those players cannot give us the desired results in the World Cup.
“Before we left, we identified some players who if they pass the MRI tests will add value to the team.
“But we will continue to step up our preparation, especially with the training tour in Brazil with 30 players and everything working out fine, we will select our final 21-man team from the 30 in Brazil,” Garba concluded.
Nigeria Football Federation has organised a training camp for the team in Sao Paulo, Brazil ahead of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup finals holding in the Samba Nation, from 26 October until 17 November.
They are billed to depart Nigeria on October 8 for the training camp in Brazil.