A former defender of the Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria team, Tony Udoh, has ruled out a successful cup defence by the Golden Eaglets at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which holds between October and November in Nigeria.


He said that poor administration by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation,  was going to undermine the performance of the Eaglets at the cadet tournament.

Nigeria, winner of the trophy in 2007, are mired in a legion of woes ranging from players’ disqualifications, poor preparations and a sagging desire, as the world gears up for a the final countdown to a tournament aimed at unearthing young and talented players from the various parts of the globe.

Already drawn in a tough group, comprising Germany, Argentina and Honduras, the Nigerians have their work seriously cut out for them and Udoh, who blossomed as a youth player, during his hey days, told Sports Vanguard that things are not about to get easier for the homers, who are coached by John Obuh, who replaced a former Nations Cup winner, Henry Nwosu, who was axed in puzzling circumstances.

“I do not see Nigeria doing well at the Under-17 World Cup that we are hosting because of the way that football is being run by the Nigeria Football Federation, who have shown, with every passing event, that they do not have what it takes to take our football to eldorado.

“The doomsday signs are already showing for all to see and it is going to get messier because we are playing against teams who have better and organised structures in place and have long completed their preparations for this tournament, which we are still grappling with.

“Even the MRI scandal is one thing that has further exposed our insincerity with youth football. In our ill-motivated desire to win the tournament, we have always fielded players who are well beyond the age limit and that has sadly stunted our developmental programme.

“I think it is timely that FIFA have said that they would be conducting fresh MRI tests for all the teams at Nigeria 20009, so that the true ages of the players would be ascertained and we all could be the better for it, in the future”, added Udoh, who is the founder and chairman of Progenics Corporation, an information technology firm.

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