Maigari accuses Mali of parading ‘old men’ to play against the Golden Eaglets.
The President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Aminu Maigari, has blasted the Malian Football Federation, MFF, for allegedly parading ‘old men’ as teenagers against the Golden Eaglets in Sunday’s 2013 Under-17 African Junior Championship qualifier in Calabar.
Mr. Maigari, a member of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, organising Committee for the African Nations Championship, said the action of the Malian football authorities is inimical to the overall development of football on the continent. He added that the federation would follow the protest against the eligibility of such clearly over-aged players in a cadet competition to a conclusion.
“I was ashamed of the Malian FA when I saw their players and it was glaring that these are not Under-17 players,” a clearly angry Mr. Maigari said after a hard-won 2-0 victory by the Nigerian youngsters.
“This Malian team that was paraded against the Golden Eaglets could pass off as the senior national team of Mali but it is good that we beat them fairly here.”
The NFF President said he was confident that the Golden Eaglets would eventually qualify ahead of the Malians even as he has requested CAF to be vigilant to the despicable attitude of some of its affiliated countries.
He Said, “I want to urge all African football federation to desist from the shameless attitude of the Malian FA because it would jeopardise the future of the game on the continent on the long run. I believe CAF would look at the merit of our case because this is just not a healthy competition”.
Meanwhile, Mr. Maigari has further commended the coaching crew of the Golden Eaglets for a job well done so far, adding that the NFF would give them the backing all the way to succeed in their assignment.
“We at the NFF are real proud of this set of coaches we have with the Under-17 team and without any doubt, they are the best of all our national teams,” he noted.“I’m saying this with all sense of responsibility that the Golden Eaglets coaches are the best we have today when we look at all the national teams and I’m confident they would guide the Golden Eaglets to the 2013 African Under-17 Championship in Morocco.”