The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria arrived Libreville on Saturday ahead of Sunday’s final round, first leg 2015 African Under-17 Championship qualifier against their Gabonese counterparts.
The team flew from Lome at 3:10 p.m. and arrived Libreville at 4:40 p.m. local time (same time with Nigeria). This was after their earlier schedule was truncated on Friday when players and accompanying officials were pulled out of Libreville-bound ASKY Airline flight on the orders of the Gabonese authority over fears of Ebola Virus Disease.
It took the intervention of the Confederation of African Football, CAF, following a letter of protest by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, over the poor treatment of the Golden Eaglets’ contingent, for the Gabonese authorities to back down on their decision which started with late issuance of visa until Thursday.
“At last we are in Libreville and by the grace of God we are playing our match tomorrow (Sunday) and we remain focus about getting the job done,” stated Tayo Egbaiyelo, Golden Eaglets’ secretary, in a statement signed by the team’s spokesperson, Morakinyo Abodunrin.
Meanwhile, the match earlier fixed for Saturday would now be held on Sunday at the Stade Augustin Monedan de Sibang in Libreville with the kick off time fixed for 3:30 p.m.
The Golden Eaglet’s coach, Emmanuel Amuneke, has enthused that the team would be gunning for victory.
The second leg is due in a fortnight with the overall winner earning a ticket to the eight-team African tournament to be held from February 15 to March 1 2015 in Niger; while the semi-finalists at the African championship would automatically qualify to represent the continent at the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile.