• No Nigerian referee on CAF’s 85 listed for AFCON

The draw for Indonesia 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup will hold tomorrow, September 15, in Zurich, Switzerland but without Nigeria.The Golden Eagles of Nigeria, which is one of the most successful teams in the World Cup, could not qualify from the African qualifying round, where they crashed out in the semifinal.

The coach Nduka Ugbade-led Golden Eagles were beaten by Burkina Faso. Former FIFA U-17 World Cup winner, Stephen Appiah of Ghana is among those to conduct the draw.

It is less than two months to the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia. Africa will be represented by Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Morocco. They will join 20 other countries, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, IR Iran, Japan and Korea Republic. Others are Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Spain, USA, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.

The 24 nations will be drawn into six groups of four. The teams have been split into four pots, with one team from each pot to be drawn into each group. Teams have been allocated into pots based on a points system determined by their performance at the past five editions of the FIFA U 17 World Cup, with the nations that won their respective confederation’s qualifying tournament awarded five bonus points.

Meanwhile, ahead of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), yesterday, announced a list of 85 referees for a preparatory course. And as usual, there was no single Nigerian on the list.

The list consists of center referees, assistant referees, video assistant referees (VAR), technical instructors, physical trainers, VAR technicians, and IT support.

Among the countries represented, Egypt and Algeria have the highest number of referees, with three each.Four VAR referees were chosen from Mauritius, South Africa, Morocco, and Egypt, while seven technical instructors and physical trainers were selected from Zimbabwe, Burundi, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal, Morocco, and Djibouti.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria will be among the 24 countries competing for the title at the 2023 AFCON finals. The competition, hosted by Cote d’Ivoire, will take place from January 13 to February 11, 2024.

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