NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari
By Olawale Ajimotokan
Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has moved to weed out over age players from the U-17 national team, as it is insisting that the Golden Eaglets must undergo Magnetic Resonant Imaging (MRI) test, before they can represent the country, we learnt Thursday night.
The MRI is a test that gives information about the bone structures in the body (particularly the wrists) through an X-ray, ultrasound, or computed tomography (CT) scan.
It is a test required by FIFA for all teams that intend to participate in its age grade tournaments, as it helps officials to fish out players who are above the stipulated age range.
NFF sources told us that the ongoing exercise which will be thoroughly conducted is to be concluded by the middle of next month.
Coach Manu Garba is currently grooming a new U-17 team for the qualifying campaign towards the Africa U-17 Championship in Morocco next year.
The Golden Eaglets will commence their bid to reach the African Championship when they travel to Niamey on September 8 for the first leg of the qualifiers against Niger.
The Nigerian federation has already ruled players who are playing in the local professional league ineligible for the Golden Eaglets as part of the measures to ensure that only footballers within the stipulated category are allowed in the national camp.
Also Sports Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, recently issued a new policy guideline to the effect that only players with proof that they have been in secondary school in the past three years or related institutions will be allowed to be in the U-17 camp.
This directive was made following a meeting with NFF Chairman Aminu Maigari, and in response to the criticisms that have usually trailed the U-17 selection processes in the past.