Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu has made a clarion call to the Golden Eaglets to set a new world record for wins in the FIFA U-17 World Cup when they play Mali on Sunday.

With four wins (1985, 1993, 2007 and 2013), Nigeria has the record of triumphs in the global cadet championship. Victory over Mali in a sumptuous all-African final in Chile’s tourist destination, Vina del Mar, will take Nigeria’s wins to five, followed by Brazil with three.

Chief Anyansi-Agwu led the U-23 delegation to Pointe Noiire
Chief Anyansi-Agwu

“At the beginning of the competition, I told the Eaglets to take it one match at a time, which they so brilliantly did. They waited to know the opposition’s strength in the first 10 minutes and then they go all out and punch them hard.

“Now, this is the Championship match, against Mali. We must go all out. Yes, we have the record of wins in the competition, but we must extend it. The Eaglets and their Head Coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has shown that they deserve to be world champions.”

Anyansi-Agwu also called out to the team to put collective glory ahead of pursuit of personal diadems. “It is great that Victor Osimhen has equaled the all-time goals record. He has proved himself as a predator and a worthy marksman. Though the temptation will be for him to seek to break the record on Sunday, he should rather play with the team and for the team’s success and he will find out that the record he seeks (which will also be to our nation’s pride) will come naturally.”

The Golden Eaglets defeated then West Germany 2-0 in the inaugural final in Beijing in 1985, smoked out West African rivals Ghana 2-1 in the only previous all –African final in Tokyo in 1993, outshot Mexico on penalties in Seoul in 2007 and thrashed Mexico 3-0 in the last Championship match in Abu Dhabi.

Nigeria’s youngsters have also reached the final in 1987 (losing to USSR on penalties in Toronto); 2001 (trounced by France in Port of Spain) and; when hosting in 2009 (pipped 1-0 by Switzerland in Abuja). The Eaglets reached the quarter -finals in Scotland in 1989 and in Ecuador in 1995. The only time the Eaglets have failed to move out of the group stage of the FIFA U-17 World Cup was in Finland in 2003!


Nigeria was not at the finals in Italy in 1991 (the country was under ban from age grade competitions and did not take part in the qualifiers); Egypt in 1997 {following administrative lapse during the qualifying stage); New Zealand in 1999 (after the Eaglets faltered at the African finals in Guinea); Peru in 2005 (Eaglets lost out at the African finals in Gambia) and; Mexico in 2011 (as the Eaglets lost to Congo in the African Championship qualifying race).

Anyansi-Agwu said: “No doubt, we have the most intimidating record in the FIFA U-17 World Cup. The challenge on Sunday is to make it even more intimidating.”

Sunday’s final starts at 7pm Chile time (11pm in Nigeria), with Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen poised to set a new goalscoring record for the Championship. He already has equaled the tournament record of nine goals.

NFF Admin
Author: NFF Admin

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