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Nigeria at the 2023 U-17 AFCON: Pre-tournament Stats, fixtures, and expectation

Nigeria and 11 others will participate at the 2023 U-17 AFCON. SPORTSRATION in this report brings you Pre-tournament stats, fixtures, comments and expectation as the Eaglets battle for honors in Algeria.


  • The 2023 Total Energies Africa U-17 Cup of Nations will be hosted by Algeria from April 29 to May 19, 2023
  • It will be the 14th edition of the competition to hold as the 2021 edition was cancelled (19th if editions played on a home and away basis are included)
  • 12 African Countries will participate in the tournament an expansion from the 8-team format
  • The Four top teams at the AFCON will qualify for the U-17 World Cup as Africa`s representatives
  • Cameroon are defending Champions of the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations after conquering the continent in 2019.
  • The 2021 edition was cancelled.


Group A: Algeria, Senegal, Congo, Somalia

Group B: Nigeria, Morocco, South Africa, Zambia

Group C: Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, South Sudan


Nigeria will be participating at the U-17 AFCON for a record 10th time. In the Nine (9) previous editions, the Golden Eaglets claimed the title twice ( 2001 and 2007 ), finished as runners-up in 1995 and 2013, took third place in 2003, finished fourth in 2015 and 2019, while exiting in the group stage at the 1999 and 2005 editions.

Nigeria failed to qualify for the tournament in 1997, 2009, 2011 and 2017.

At the 2023 edition, Nigeria`s team is handled Coach Nduka Ugbade, a man who has won the FIFA U-17 World Cup as a player (1985) and in 2013 as assistant to Manu Garba.

26 Eaglets on Sunday April 23 arrived in Constantine Algeria and passed the mandatory MRI tests to confirm their eligibility for the age-grade tournament.

Nigeria head into the tournament as Champions of WAFU Zone B having defeated Burkina Faso 2-1 in the final last year.

WAFU Zone B U-17 Champions: NIGERIA
WAFU Zone B U-17 Champions: NIGERIA


  • Nigeria Vs Zambia (30/04/2023 – 17h00 local time – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine)
  • Nigeria Vs Morocco (03/05/2023 – 17h00 local time – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine)
  • South Africa Vs Nigeria (06/05/2023 – 20h00 local time – Mohamed Hamlaoui Stadium, Constantine)


Coach Nduka Ugbade _ Head Coach of Nigeria`s Golden Eaglets

“It’s quite interesting. We have always been waiting for this moment. We will face every team as they come. One after the other. We are not talking about winning the AFCON.

We are talking and planning about winning each match. One after the other. We will fight. That’s most probably the toughest group. I have an idea of West, South, North and East African football. These are great nations but we are going to prepare ourselves for the onslaught. everyone of those teams will feel Nigeria.

We have respect and a little fear knowing that we can lose. So with that we have to prepare so it doesn’t come to pass losing. “

Light Eke _ Golden Eaglets striker

“Based on our preparation I know that we are very ready for this tournament,” Eke said on NFF TV.

“In our group, we have opponents that we know and who are very good.

“But like I said, based on our preparation, we came here knowing that we are going to win the trophy and also qualify for the World Cup.”


The Golden Eaglets head coach Nduka Ugbade has repeatedly stated their primary target is to pick one of four available tickets to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

That can only be achieved if the team reaches the semi-final in Algeria.

However, this represents the minimum target on the minds of Nigerians who are eyeing a third Africa U-17 Cup of Nations title.

SportsRation correspondent Nsikakabasi Akpan summarizes the expectations of Nigerians ahead of the tournament ” Its 16-years since the Eaglets last won the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations title, Nigerians are expecting the title to end this drought in a grade we stand tall as best in the World. “

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