Nigeria’s U-17 girls begin another World Cup qualification journey on Saturday when they take on the Baby Gladiators of Namibia in a second round, first leg match at the National Stadium Complex, Abuja.

Namibia’s 26-man delegation to Saturday’s encounter, led by Mr. Timotheus Tjongarero, arrived in Lagos in the early hours of Thursday and flew to Abuja, arriving at 8am. The delegation is accommodated at the Chida Hotel in the Federal Capital Territory.

Also on Thursday morning, match officials from Morocco, led by Referee Lamyaa Lourarhi, arrived in Abuja. The team includes Karima Khadiri (assistant referee 1), Zahra Jalal (assistant referee 2) and Bouchra Karboubi (reserve referee). They are accommodated at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel.

The match commissioner, Florence Marie Aimee Biagui from Senegal, was also being expected in Abuja on Thursday afternoon.

The Flamingos, under the watchful eyes of Coach Bala Nikyu and his assistants, have been in camp for a number of weeks, and are expected to go full throttle against the Baby Gladiators, who reached this round after eliminating fellow Southern Africans, Botswana.

Among the players Bala Nikyu is working with to do Nigeria proud on Saturday are midfielders Rasheedat Ajibade and Joy Duru, as well as Cynthia Aku and Juliet Godman.

The Flamingos have participated at every edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup since the first tournament in New Zealand in 2008.

The return leg has been scheduled to take place at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, Windhoek on Friday, January 22.


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