Disaster has struck in the camp of Nigeria’s U17 team after 26 players, comprising mostly of the first team out of 60 failed the mandatory MRI screening conducted last week.
According to AfricanFootball.com, only two players in the starting XI passed the test.
“It is a disaster,” exclaimed one devastated official.
“Virtually the first team the coaches have been working on have been disqualified. It’s a serious problem.”
Several of the players were in tears and total shock when the final results came through this morning, the website reports.
Among those who flung the age test was a star striker, who came through the national U15 team and has been outstanding in training leading up to Saturday’s AFCON qualifier.
Another promising player, disqualified only recently, forced his way into the starting XI of coach Manu Garba’s team after a late call-up.
An Egyptian doctor supervised the screening exercise last week.
Nigeria has won the FIFA U17 World Cup a record five times – 1985, 1993, 2007, 2013 and 2015.
This development would see the team suffer greatly during the U17 AFCON qualifier at home against Niger on Saturday.