Zambia offers to host U-17 AFCON as Golden Eaglets rue missed trip to Morocco
NFF set to decamp team
Players of the national U-17 boys’ team, Golden Eaglets, were devastated by the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) decision to call off the African U-17 Nations Cup, which was earlier scheduled to hold in Morocco this month.
The Golden Eaglets would have kicked off their U17 AFCON campaign on Sunday in Morocco against Tanzania in Group B. According to officials of the team, the players, who have been in camp for more than three months preparing for the competition, received the news that they would not get the opportunity to test their talents against the best in Africa when they had already zeroed their minds on expected events in Morocco.
CAF cancelled the championship following reports of the dangers posed by a new strain of the COVID-19 pandemic in Morocco. Speaking with The Guardian on Wednesday, the national U-17 team coach, Fatai Amoo, said canceling the championship after weeks of preparations did not go down well with the players, saying the youngsters were aspiring to prove a point at the African championship.
“As we await more information from CAF, the players will return to their various destinations this week.”
The NFF responsibility is to monitor these players in their various academies and clubs. Any time I am called to work with the players I will be ready.
“There are abundant talents in the present Golden Eaglets squad, who needs close and continuous monitoring,” he said. Earlier this week, CAF Emergency Committee met in Rabat, Morocco to decide on the 2021 U17 Total Africa Cup of Nations. But there are hopes that the championship could still happen this year with Zambia willing to host it.
Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) yesterday asked CAF to award it the hosting right for the 12–nation tournament. In a correspondence to CAF dated March 10, 2021 and signed by Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) General Secretary, Adrian Kashala, Zambia said they are open to host the U17 AFCON on dates approved by CAF.
The Southern African nation said they have a good track record of hosting international competitions like the 2017 U20 AFCON and U20 COSAFA in 2019.