Cote d’Ivoire Denies Nigeria U17 AFCON Slot

By Gyang Dakwo

Nigeria will not be at the 2024 U17 Africa Cup of Nations following the Golden Eaglets’ shocking defeat to Cote d’Ivoire on Saturday evening.

Cote d’Ivoire’s Baby Elephants earned 1-0 victory over Nigeria in the semifinals of the WAFU B U17 Championship to dump the Golden Eaglets out of the AFCON and the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Nigeria made it to the semifinals as Group B winners after winning two games against Niger and Togo after a draw with Burkina Faso.

The Manu Garba-tutored boys had impressed in those games by scoring four goals to book a date with Group A runners-up Cote d’Ivoire.

However, the Golden Eaglets lacked cutting edge in the final third against the Ivorians and failed get an equaliser after succumbing to a second-half goal from Youbah Koulibaly.

Cote d’Ivoire will join Burkina Faso at the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations later in the year, with Ghana and Nigeria both eliminated. The two countries will also trade tackles in the final of the WAFU B tournament.

With the U17 AFCON serving as the qualifiers for the FIFA U17 World Cup, this also means Nigeria will not be participating at the 20th edition of the world cup.

It will be the second consecutive World Cup that the Golden Eaglets will miss after failing to qualify for the 2023 edition.