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Nigeria’s Falconets  U-20 World Cup opponents emerge on Thursday

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Nigeria’s U20 women’s national team, Falconets, ever present in all the preceding nine editions of the FIFA tournament will this Thursday know who their group opponents will be when the tournament kicks off in Costa Rica on August 10.

They are one of the four countries never to miss any edition since the competition began 20 years ago.

The others are Brazil, Germany and United States.

Nigeria originally had a bid to host the tournament but lost it to a joint bid of Panama and Costa Rica before it was later switched to Costa Rica alone.

Already, the Nigerians are in the second-tier seed and thus fall into Pot 2 of the draw along with USA, Mexico and Spain. The final draw will hold this Thursday at the Teatro Nacional in San José.

Featuring in the draw are: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Ghana, Japan, Korea Republic, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, the USA and hosts Costa Rica.

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As part of the draw procedures, the 16 participating teams have been allocated to four pots of four teams each, based on a ranking created according to past sporting performance.

The draw will start with four pots labelled 1 to 4 representing the teams. The four pots representing the groups will be labelled A to D. In each pot, there will be four balls containing the position numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 of each respective group, with each pot being completely emptied before moving on to the next pot.

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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