U-17 Africa Cup of Nations: CAF confirms tournament format, Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets miss out

In a definitive statement, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has clarified the qualification criteria for the 2025 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations, addressing recent speculation following the announcement by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) regarding the Golden Eaglets’ qualification status.

CAF’s Director of Competitions, Samson Adamu, communicated to the NFF that there has been no alteration to the tournament’s format. Adamu affirmed, “The final tournament will still have 12 teams,” dispelling any uncertainty about the number of participating teams.

This confirmation has significant implications for Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets. Despite their commendable performance in defeating the host nation Ghana in Tuesday’s third-place match of the WAFU Zone B U-17 Championship, their journey ends here.

The tournament format stipulates that only the top two teams from the WAFU Zone B Championship – in this case, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso – will advance to the finals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

Before the clarification by CAF FirstNews had, Following NFF”s initial announcement, reported that the Golden Eaglets qualified for the finals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, the Golden Eaglets, although showing great promise and potential throughout the competition, will not be among the 12 teams vying for the championship title in 2025.

This outcome serves as a crucial reminder of the stringent qualification criteria and the competitive nature of African youth football tournaments.

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