CAF President Issa Hayatou on Monday (before Nigeria vs Sweden semi-final game) paid an inspirational visit to the Intercontinental Hotel abode of the Nigeria Under-17 team, and encouraged them to set a tournament record by winning a fourth world title in the United Arab Emirates. Hayatou, accompanied by CAF First Vice President, Almamy Kabele Camara and Fifa Executive Committee member, Mohamed Raouraoua, praised the resilience of the Nigerian youngsters especially in the quarter final duel with Uruguay on Saturday. He said “You have displayed a high level of skill and intelligence in this tournament that we have not seen in an African team for a long time. I am not surprised at your progress here because I saw you at the CAN U-17 Championship in Morocco and I was highly impressed. “I am particularly excited with your performance against Uruguay, despite missing a number of injured players. I believe you are already in the final. The African football family is fully behind you,” Hayatou said. The African football supremo also charged the boys to forget Nigeria’s three earlier triumphs in the competition and rather focus on writing their own names in gold. “Yes, Nigeria has won the competition three times before, but that was done by other players. Now, it is your opportunity to write your own names in gold. I believe you have the talent, intelligence and resilience to go all the way.” NFF President Aminu Maigari, who received the CAF President, lauded the visit and assured that the Eaglets are fully motivated to go all out against the Swedes in Tuesday’s semi-final at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai. “It is a huge honour to have the CAF President visit any team in the middle of a tournament, because of his very tight schedule. We are assuring you that our boys are able and ready to do the African continent proud.” Head Coach, Manu Garba, who calls his boys “great warriors of Africa”, said Hayatou’s visit is a massive motivation and the Eaglets cannot fail Africa at this stage. “We will take our remaining challenges in the tournament one at a time, starting with the semi-final against Sweden on Tuesday evening.”


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