Cadet national team, Golden Eaglets’ coach, Manu Garba has admitted he is in a race against time to send a list of 50 players to global soccer governing body, FIFA before the September 26th deadline for submission of provisional squad lists for this year’s U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
Although Manu disclosed that he already has between 60 and 55 players at his camp in Abuja, the biggest hurdle facing him is the mandatory Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI) scans, which he admits will determine players that are eligible for the competition.
The UAE 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup-winning coach further revealed that he invited 52 players to join the bulk of players who featured at this year’s African U17 Cup of Nations in Tanzania, as he commenced a new round of open screening at FIFA Goal Project in Abuja.
He added that the remaining motley of lads are now battling to get into contention to make the final squad to Brazil 2019 in October, where the Eaglets, who finished fourth in Tanzania, have been drawn against Ecuador, Australia and Hungary in the group stage.
Heading into the Cadet World Cup, which starts on October 26, Manu said he is thinking big again for Nigeria, which won the championship a record extending five times – 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015 – but admits that the issue of MRI is still bothering him.
Manu expatiated: “I’m not 100% satisfied with what I have for now. We have about 55 to 60 players in camp, but we have to submit a list of 50 players to FIFA by September 26th.
“That will be our provisional list. It is from that our final 23 players for the competition will be selected; but we still have to wait for what MRI will say about them before we know who we will have in our team for the competition in Brazil.”