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Just on time to beat the deadline, the Nigerian U-20 team, the Flying Eagles have been unveiled ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations for the U20 in Niger Republic.

Team Captain Ikouwem Udo Utin and forwards Yahaya Nazifi and Effiom Maxwell are in the list of 21 players of Nigeria’s U20 squad that will battle for honours at next month’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic.

Enyimba FC wingback Utin won a silver medal at the African Nations Championship in Morocco last year, while youth sensation Nazifi recently signed contract with a Danish club and Maxwell was Man-of-the-Match in the 4-2 defeat of Ghana’s Black Satellites at the WAFU U20 Cup Tournament in Togo last month.

Aigbogun has also included goalkeepers Detan Ogundare, Akpan Udoh and Olawale Oremade, as well as defender Mike Zaruma, midfielders Peter Eletu, Quadri Liameed and Aniekeme Okon, and forwards Adeshina Gata and Ibrahim Abubakar.

Defender Valentine Ozornwafor, who plays for Enyimba International FC of Aba, midfielder Jamil Muhammad of Kano Pillars and Oasis FC forward Ibrahim Aliyu have also been included in the Nigeria squad.


The seven –time African champions will be buoyed by three foreign –based professionals, Igoh Ogbu of Rosenburg FC of Norway, Afeez Aremu of IK Stat FC, also in Norway and Denmark –based Nazifi.

The list has been submitted to the Confederation of African Football.

Nigeria trade tackles with Burundi’s Junior Itamba in their first match of the 2019 Africa U20 Cup of Nations on Saturday, 2nd February at the Stade General Seyni Kountche, hours after Niger Republic’s Junior Mena would have fought it out with South Africa’s Amajita in the competition’s opening match at the same venue.

The Flying Eagles would then play South Africa on Tuesday, 5th February before tangling with Niger Republic on Friday, 8th February in their final match of the group phase.



Goalkeepers: Akpan Udoh (Unattached); Olawale Oremade (Oasis FC); Detan Ogundare (Kogi United)

Defenders: Mike Zaruma (Plateau United); Ikouwem Utin (Enyimba International); Igoh Ogbu (Rosenburg FC, Norway); Solomon Ogberahwe (El-Kanemi Warriors); Valentine Ozornwafor (Enyimba International); Olasunkanmi Aliyu (Emmanuel Amuneke Academy)

Midfielders: Peter Eletu (Prince Kazeem Academy); Quadri Liameed (36 Lions); Aniekeme Okon (Akwa United); Jamil Muhammad (Kano Pillars); Afeez Aremu (IK Stat, Norway)

Forwards: Adamu Alhassan (Kano Pillars); Yahaya Nazifi (Sonderjyske FC, Denmark); Ibrahim Aliyu (Oasis FC); Adeshina Gata (Wikki Tourists); Ibrahim Abubakar (Plateau United); Okoh Victor (Real Sapphire FC); Maxwell Effiom (Enyimba International)


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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