African FootballGolden Eaglets

CAF confirm Golden Eaglets will miss 2024 U-17 AFCON despite win over Ghana

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets defeated Ghana in the WAFU B U-17 Championship third-place match but will miss the AFCON as confirmed by the Confederation of African Football (CAF).

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has announced that the Africa U17 Cup of Nations will maintain its format of 12 finalists for next year’s tournament, contrary to the expectations of an expansion to 16 teams. This decision clarifies the situation for teams that have recently competed in regional qualifiers.

Despite their victory over host nation Ghana in the third-place match of the WAFU B U17 Championship on Tuesday, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria will not advance to the finals of the Africa U17 Cup of Nations.

This outcome was confirmed by CAF’s Director of Competitions, Samson Adamu, who informed the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) that the tournament will stick to the 12-team format.

Expectations for an expanded tournament had been high among African football enthusiasts, especially following recent developments at the international level.

At FIFA’s Congress in Bangkok, it was announced that Africa would receive 10 slots for the 2025 FIFA U17 World Cup, which will be hosted by Qatar. This announcement had led to speculation that the Africa U17 Cup of Nations would also expand to accommodate more teams.

However, CAF’s decision means that the competition structure will remain unchanged for now. The Africa U17 Cup of Nations serves as a crucial platform for young African talents to showcase their skills and compete for a chance to represent the continent at the global level.

Qatar is set to host the next five editions of the FIFA U17 World Cup, starting next year, each featuring 48 teams. This significant increase in the number of participating teams at the global level points to the growing importance of youth competitions and the opportunities they present for emerging football talents worldwide.

The decision to keep the Africa U17 Cup of Nations at 12 teams will be disappointing for some countries, like Nigeria who celebrated the win over Ghana in anticpation it will seal their AFCON spot.

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