Sports

Manu Garba’s Golden Eaglets begin World Cup journey in Ghana: Kickoff, venue, and team news

The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria start their quest for the Qatar 2025 World Cup by facing Burkina Faso at the WAFU B tournament in Ghana, Soccernet.ng reports.

Previously, the Ugbade Nduka-led U-17 side underperformed at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, exiting at the quarterfinals and missing out on the 2023 World Cup in Indonesia.

However, with the appointment of Manu Garba, who led the U-17 team to World Cup victory in 2013, Nigerian football fans are hopeful for a successful campaign.

Today, the Golden Eaglets kick off their journey in Ghana, competing against Burkina Faso, Niger Republic, and Togo in the group stage. This championship serves as a qualifier for next year’s Africa U17 Cup of Nations.

Kickoff Details

The Eaglets begin their title defense against Burkina Faso at the University Stadium on Thursday, 16th May, with kickoff set for 3pm Ghana time (4pm Nigeria time).

They will then face Niger Republic on Sunday, 19th May (6pm Ghana, 7pm Nigeria) and Togo on Wednesday, 22nd May (4pm Ghana, 5pm Nigeria).

Officials for Nigeria vs Burkina Faso Match

Ghanaian official Adaari Abdul Latif will referee Thursday’s WAFU B U17 Championship Group B opener between five-time world champions Nigeria and Burkina Faso at the Accra University Stadium.

He will be assisted by compatriot Emmanuel Dolagbanu (Assistant Referee 1), Nigeriens Sakina Hamidou (Assistant Referee 2), and Brahamou Sadou Ali (Fourth Official). The match will kick off at 3pm Ghana time (4pm Nigeria time). Togo’s Latre-Kayi Edzona Lawson-Hogban will be the commissioner, and Ivorian Songuifolo Yeo will serve as the referee assessor.

Team News

The Confederation of African Football has confirmed that the 20 players selected by Garba have passed their MRI examinations and are ready to participate in the WAFU B tournament.

Nigerian coach Manu Garba has stated that his team is preparing diligently for the tournament and will approach each game step-by-step.

“We are happy about the results. Having the whole squad to prosecute the tournament somewhat puts our minds at rest.

“The players have been responding to training. The weather is similar to what we experienced in Abuja before our departure. Our primary objective is to get one of the two tickets from here to the Africa U17 Cup of Nations. We will focus on the matches one at a time. For now, we are focused on our opening game against Burkina Faso on Thursday.” he told NFF.com