Coach of Nigeria’s U-17 team, Golden Eaglets Manu Garba has stated that his players have not received any allowances months to their WAFU Zone B Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.
The Golden Eaglets are grouped alongside Cote’d Ivoire, Benin Republic, and Burkina Faso for the qualification tournament scheduled to hold in Niger Republic.
Garba is concerned about the support from the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to keep the players motivated for the task ahead.
In a report by All Nigeria soccer, Garba stated that the some of the players are down with Malaria as they await the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test.
He said, ”MRI is the major problem but the players themselves are not staying in a good condition. Most of the players have been down with malaria.
”With the number of players we have, we cannot take all of them to the hotel, that’s why I said MRI is our greatest problem.
”After the MRI, we reduce it to a sizeable number like 30 or 35 that can go to the hotel for maximum concentration
”Secondly, since we entered the camp, there have been no allowances to the coaches, so we need the NFF to look into that aspect so that it can motivate us to do more.”
About the MRI test which is expected to trim the squad down, Garba stated that they are yet to receive funds for the players to go through the process.
He said, ”We have been clamoring for it for long. The NFF has given approval for the MRI test but unfortunately, we are still waiting for money to be released so that the MRI can hold.”
He also stated his concern for the procedure as he revealed the no matter the actual age of the player, if failed it renders the player ineligible.
He said, ”No matter how good or how young a player is, once he doesn’t pass the MRI he cannot take part in the competition.
”When the MRI is conducted we will know who is eligible to participate in the competition so we are worried.
”The NFF should try and make it be conducted during the week so that we can know those who are eligible for us.”
Manu Garba aims to qualify for the AFCON and the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup after missing out of the last edition.
The Golden Eaglets have played preparatory matches against Siaone Academy and Derby FC which they won 3-0 and 4-0 respectively.
The Golden Eaglets face a race against time as they continue preparations for the qualification series which will commence in September 2018.