By Bushrah Yusuf-Badmus
Ilorin – Five-time champions Nigeria have landed in host nation Brazil, for this year’s FIFA U-17 World Cup finals holding from Oct. 26 to Nov. 17.
A statement from the Director of Communications, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire, said a team of 25 players and nine officials flew out of the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Wednesday evening for Dubai.
According to the statement, they would proceed from Dubai to connect another flight to Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The statement added that four players would be cut from the roster after the preparatory period before a 21 –man World Cup squad is unveiled ahead of the opening encounter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Nigeria won the 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015 tournaments, but missed the 2017 finals in India.
Head Coach Manu Garba, who led the 2013 winners, is confident that the Class of 2019 is in Brazil to reclaim the trophy.
The early departure will afford the Golden Eaglets a full two-week final preparatory period, before their opening match of the tournament against Hungary in Goiania on Oct. 26.
Nigeria will then clash with Ecuador at the same venue on Oct. 29 and later tackle Australia in Brasilia on Nov. 1 in a Group B encounter.
Vitoria is the other city hosting the 24 –nation championship.
25 EAGLETS IN BRAZIL FOR FIFA U17 WORLD CUP FINALS
Goalkeepers: Sunday Stephen, Joseph Oluwabusola, Daniel Jinadu
Defenders: Charles Etim, Ogaga Oduko, Usman Ibrahim, Clement Ikenna, Shedrack Tanko, Quadri Edun, Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi, Simon Omon
Midfielders: Samson Tijani, Akinkunmi Amoo, Daniel Francis, Ibraheem Jabaar, Ibrahim Sa’id, Monsuru Opeyemi, Fawaz Abdullahi, Idris Eletu-Odibo, Malcolm Ebowei, Peter Agba
Forwards: Olakunle Olusegun, Wisdom Ubani, Divine Nwachukwu, Mayowa Abayomi