Golden Eaglets’ Head Coach, Manu Garba (MFR) has described the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup that has pitched Nigeria with Mexico; Iraq and Sweden as very interesting and exciting.
The Nigerian Under-17 team will play in Group F with their centre in Al Ain at the Championship taking place between October 17 and November 7.
At the Draw Ceremony conducted by former CAF’s secretary General, Mr. Moustapha Fahmy at the Hotel Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in the UAE capital,saw the Golden Eaglets being picked as the second team
and would have the honour of playing the Group’s opening game against the defending champions, Mexico -who are also the reigning CONCACAF champions on October 19 .
Speaking immediately after the draws, Coach Garba said the Golden Eaglets’ work has been cut out; with a confident that that his wards would scale the hurdle and progress from the group.
“I want to believe this is a fair draw for us and as you know, we have no choice than to prepare very well because this is an interesting and exciting group,” said the coach who was one of the architects that guided Nigeria to her last triumph in 2007.
“Of course, you will pick Mexico as one of the best teams at this level having being champions in two recent editions of the tournaments but we (Nigeria) are also a power to be reckoned with at this level because we have won it on three previous occasions.
“With all sense of humility, we would do our best to qualify from this group because it is our aim to do well at the World Cup. We are not going to underrate any team starting from our first game against Mexico.
“Though Sweden and Iraq are coming to the tournament for the first time, we cannot dismiss them too because every team at any tournament comes with the prospect to emerge champions. So, we just have to take one step after the other in order to realise our ambition at the World Cup,” he added.
Meanwhile, African champions Cote d’Ivoire will play in Group B alongside Uruguay, New Zealand and Italy.
The matches will take place at the Ras Al Khaimah Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Africa’s second runners-up, Tunisia will play against Venezuela, Russia and Japan in Group D.
The matches will come up at the Sharjah Stadium in Fujairah.
While Morocco that came fourth at home during the CAN Championship will play against Croatia, Panama and Uzbekistan in Group C in Fujairah.
THE FULL DRAW:
Group A (Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah): United Arab Emirates, Honduras, Brazil, Slovakia
Group B (Ras Al Khaimah, Abu Dhabi): Uruguay, New Zealand, Côte d’Ivoire, Italy
Group C (Fujairah, Sharjah): Croatia, Morocco, Panama, Uzbekistan
Group D (Sharjah, Fujairah): Tunisia, Venezuela, Russia, Japan
Group E (Dubai, Al Ain): Canada, Austria, Iran, Argentina