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CAF's expansion of U-17 AFCON teams to benefit Nigeria Golden Eaglets

Nigeria Golden Eaglets stand to gain from the impending decision by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) to expand the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The continental football body is expected to announce an increase in the number of participating teams to 24 during the Executive Committee's virtual meeting on Friday, June 21, 2024.

This move aligns with FIFA's expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams, allowing Africa to have 10 representatives at the annual global event.

Currently, the U-17 AFCON features 12 teams, with qualification determined on a zonal basis, with each zone, including WAFU Zone B where Nigeria competes, presenting two teams.

The expected expansion means each zone will now present four teams. This is particularly good news for Nigeria, who finished third in this year's WAFU Zone B championship. The tournament, hosted in Accra, saw Burkina Faso emerge as champions after defeating Ivory Coast in the final, with Ghana finishing fourth.

Initially, only the top two teams from each zone would qualify. However, if CAF confirms its decision, the best four teams from each zone, including Nigeria, will qualify for next year’s U-17 AFCON in Algeria, providing them an opportunity to compete for a spot in the World Cup in Qatar.

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