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Manu Garba addresses Golden Eaglets MRI Test Challenges Ahead of WAFU B U-17 Tournament

With the 2024 WAFU B U-17 tournament looming, Manu Garba, head coach of Nigeria’s U-17 national football team, the Golden Eaglets, has addressed reports concerning Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) tests in his camp.

Garba has brushed off concerns regarding the tests, clarifying the situation as the team prepares for the upcoming tournament in Ghana.

Earlier reports revealed challenges faced by Garba in finalizing his squad for the tournament, with MRI tests playing a significant role in the selection process. Initially, a list of 51 invited players was reduced due to issues arising from the MRI tests.

Garba, who recently assumed the role of head coach, has emphasised the importance of players meeting the criteria for genuine U-17 status, as verified by official documents and MRI tests conducted by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

He stated that players with authentic U-17 status, supported by verified documents and satisfactory MRI test results, remain in the camp despite initial setbacks.

Addressing the situation, Garba clarified, “The genuine U-17 players, according to their official documents made available to the NFF and the MRI tests conducted by the football body, are still in the camp preparing for the WAFU B U-17 tournament.”

” When the camp opened last month, the very sincere football academies had to withdraw their players after the MRI tests they conducted showed that their players were on Grade 5. These players had to leave the camp immediately” he told nff.com.

Additionally, Garba highlighted the NFF’s stringent requirements for MRI test results, emphasising grades between Grade 1 to 4 as acceptable. Players with Grade 5 results were asked to leave the camp. He noted that players who provided misleading MRI results upon entering the camp were also detected and sent home.

Despite these challenges, Garba expressed confidence in the team’s readiness for the tournament, noting that most players received favorable MRI grades at the NFF-approved medical center. He affirmed the team’s determination to have a successful outing at the WAFU B U-17 tournament in Accra, Ghana.

The Golden Eaglets, boasting a rich history as five-time world champions and current WAFU B U-17 titleholders, will commence their title defense against Burkina Faso on May 16th. Leading up to the tournament, the team has participated in nine friendly matches, winning six, drawing two, and suffering one defeat.

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