The Golden Eaglets have raised alarm over the way the MRI age test is being conducted at the U17 AFCON qualifiers in Togo, saying the process has not been fair to the team ahead of their opening game.
A statement by the Golden Eaglets spokesman Francis Achi claimed a conspiracy against the WAFU B U17 defending champions leading up to this afternoon’s opening group game against Cote d’Ivoire.
“From all indications, it appears that there is a massive conspiracy against the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria here in Lome, the venue of WAFU B U 17 tournament,” Achi said.
“The Golden Eaglets were the first to land Lome, Togo on Sunday for the tournament.
“The Golden Eaglets waited 1pm Togo time for the MRI tests, sadly the players are to conduct the test.
“The WAFU B Tournament organisers rescheduled the MRI test to 9pm Togo time (10pm in Nigeria) and the more shocking thing is that only 12 players will undergo the MRI tests (Tuesday) evening while the remaining 13 players will have theirs by 7am tomorrow (Wednesday), the day of the game.
“Meanwhile, the Baby Elephants (Cote d’Ivoire) who came in yesterday (Monday) have all performed their MRI tests, gone back to their hotel to relax ahead of the game.”
However, NFF chief technical officer Garba Lawal said the team should take the process in good faith and focus on winning the game against the Ivorians.
“When you leave the comfort of your home, you should expect a lot of things,” the former international said.
“We should take everything in good faith.
“We should just stay focused and ensure we win the game.
“It won’t be an easy game, but I have a lot of confidence in this team. They should take their chance.”
Today’s match will kick off 4pm local time, which will be 5pm in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in Tuesday’s tournament opener hosts Togo fought back from a goal down to beat Niger 2-1.