By Olasunkanmi Akoni
The Action Congress (AC) has called for an urgent
investigation into the report that almost all members of the Nigerian Under_17 team preparing for the forthcomingÂ Under_17 World Cup are over aged.
National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement at the weekend said it was particularly shocking and disappointing that the discovery occurred with just about two months to the World Cup, to be hosted by Nigeria, giving the country little or no time to replace the over aged players.
It said the implication is that Nigeria will send a makeshift team to the competition, with the result that it faces a first round elimination from a tournament that is costing the countryâ€™s tax-payers billions of Naira to stage!
â€œEven with the best team that is adequately prepared, Nigeria faces an uphill task in the competition, having been zoned into the â€˜group of deathâ€™ with Germany, Argentina and Honduras in the round_robin first round.
â€œNow with the possibility that Nigeria will field a makeshift team at best, the country stands no chance in the forthcoming tournament. This will be a shame of international proportion and we need to fish out those responsible for selecting the team and slam them with appropriate sanctions to prevent a recurrence,â€ AC said, adding that football is too important to Nigeria as a source of unity to be toyed with by unscrupulous officials.
The party said the investigation must also unravel the role played by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), especially in the selection of an Under_17 team that is packed with old men who should be getting ready to retire from football.