Friday, February 23, 2024

Ejidike tasks Flying Eagles ahead Argentina 2023

BY ANDREW EKEJIUBA

Nigeria’s Pillar of Sports, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike has charged the Flying Eagles to work hard and surmount all obstacles and make the country proud ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup holding in Argentina next month.

Speaking to The Point, Ejidike said the team must avoid any distraction and work hard to win the elusive trophy to Nigeria at the youth level.

“The Flying Eagles must dig their feet into the ground against Brazil, Italy and Dominican Republic in order to scale the group phase before getting to knockout stage. I strongly see this team as one that has the capacity to excel if they are given every support to triumph at this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup competition.

“This is a competition we are yet to win at the youth level and I believe with hard work we can break the jinx this time,” Ejidike said with great optimism.

Flying Eagles which are Africa’s number three team was slotted into the interesting group D at the draw ceremony for the tournament held at the House of FIFA in Zurich on Friday, with hosts Argentina heading group A that also has Uzbekistan, Guatemala and New Zealand.

Argentina is the most successful nation at the FIFA U20 World Cup since the competition was launched in Tunisia in 1977. The South American nation has won the tournament six times, the last being in 2007. It also hosted the competition 22 years ago.

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have finished as runners-up on two occasions, in Saudi Arabia in 1989 and in The Netherlands in 2005. They were bronze medallists in the USSR in 1985.

This year’s championship will take place between May 20 and June 11 in Argentina.

GROUP A: Argentina, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, New Zealand

GROUP B: USA, Ecuador, Fiji Islands, Slovakia

GROUP C: Senegal, Japan, Israel, Colombia

GROUP D: Italy, Brazil, Nigeria, Dominican Republic

GROUP E: Uruguay, Iraq, England, Tunisia

GROUP F: France, Korea Republic, The Gambia, Honduras

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