August 26, 2009

Nigeria has dropped 15 players after MRIs found them to be older than the allowed age for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which the country will stage in October.

Nigeria Under-17 coach John Obuh disclosed that the affected players have been decamped, leaving him with 23 other players who fall within the allowed age.

The players dropped are Kabiru Borgo, Abiodun Akanda, Ariyo Olubukola, Habeeb Bello, Deji Joel, Yakubu Azeez, Ogungbe Ganiyu, Orji Kalu, Justice Chinedu, Chinedu Udegha, Amadi Moses, Solomon Enudi, Dubem Awaziem, Esse Joseph Junior and Olaitan Gambari.

Nigeria federation president Sani Lulu insisted that the country will still raise a formidable team for the World Cup in October.

"We have about 38 players in camp, some of them failed [the age test]," Lulu said. "[That] does not mean that we do not have a team that will represent us at the World Cup or that we have a crisis. We still have a good team."

Nigeria has won the Under-17 tournament three times, in 1985, 1993 and 2007.

For this year's competition, the team is drawn against Germany, Argentina and Honduras in the first round.

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