U17 WC: CAF president pays Eaglets visit
04 November 2013, 20:59
Dubai - President of the Confederation of African Football,
Alhaji Issa Hayatou, on Monday paid an inspirational visit to the
Intercontinental Hotel abode of the U-17 National Team of Nigeria, during which
he encouraged the Golden Eaglets to set a tournament record by winning a fourth
world title in the United Arab Emirates.
Hayatou, in company with CAF 1st Vice President, Almamy
Kabele Camara and FIFA Executive Committee member, Mohamed Raouraoua, praised
the resilience of the Nigerian youngsters especially in the quarter final duel
with Uruguay on Saturday.
“You have displayed a high level of skill and intelligence
in this tournament that we have not seen in an African team for a long time. I
am not surprised at your progress here because I saw you at the CAN U-17
Championship in Morocco and I was highly impressed, Hayatou said in a statement
made available to News24 Nigeria.
“I am particularly excited with your performance against
Uruguay, despite missing a number of injured players. I believe you are already
in the final. The African football family is fully behind you,” Hayatou said.
The African football supremo also charged the boys to forget
Nigeria’s three earlier triumphs in the competition and rather focus on writing
their own names in gold.
“Yes, Nigeria has won the competition three times before,
but that was done by other players. Now, it is your opportunity to write your
own names in gold. I believe you have the talent, intelligence and resilience
to go all the way.”
President of Nigeria Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu
Maigari, who received the CAF President, lauded the visit and assured that the
Eaglets are fully motivated to go all out against the Swedes in Tuesday’s semi
final at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
“It is a huge honour to have the CAF President visit any
team in the middle of a tournament, because of his very tight schedule. We are
assuring you that our boys are able and ready to do the African continent
Head Coach, Manu Garba, who calls his boys “great warriors
of Africa” said Hayatou’s visit is a massive motivation and the Eaglets cannot
fail Africa at this stage. “We will take our remaining challenges in the
tournament one at a time, starting with the semi final against Sweden on
Also present during the visit were former CAF Director of
Communications, Suleiman Habuba, Director of Sports in Katsina State, Kofan
Soro Mohammed, NFF’s Assistant Director of Media, Ademola Olajire, Head of
International, Bola Oyeyode, Personal Assistant to NFF President, Nasiru
Jibril, the technical crew, backroom staff and all 21 players.