By Onochie Anibeze, Group Sports Editor
James Peters James Peters could not leave for Egypt at the time he was booked to travel because he said that he was busy ensuring the national Under 17 team does not embarrass the country when the FIFA U 17 World Cup begins in Nigeria next month.
He would not regret missing the event in Egypt as Nigeria have chosen path with failure, losing their two matches.
“I would have been in Egypt but I stayed back to ensure that all the players we would field for the Under 17 World Cup are MRI compliant.
They have to be within the age limit allowed in the competition,” Peters said few hours before the team was expected to travel out for a training tour of Germany. He is the assistant secretary_general in the football federation.
“Nigeria is hosting and we are following the controversy over the ages of the players. We want to make sure that all the players we would present are truly Under 17. We have been screening them and that has delayed my trip to Egypt. I am happy that all those who will travel for the training are within the allowed age.”
Peters later said something that should interest Nigerians. It revealed NFF’s possible shift from their earlier position and that of the sports minister to “host and win.”
“We want to play for honour. We don’t to win at all costs. We want to make sure we present a team that will represent us well even if they do not win. We have to build from there. That is our position.”
World football governing body had said that they will randomly test for the ages of players who will compete in the competition in Nigeria.
NFF’s president, Sani Lulu had, during a chat with the media in Lagos, said that his federation would not subject the players to MRI test as it was not in the rules of the competition. His statement was condemned nationally and FIFA also clarified matters and insisted that the Magnetic Resonance Imaging will be applied in Nigeria.