President of the Confederation of African Football, Issa Hayatou has paid glowing tributes to the Nigeria U17 team as well as their Malian counterparts ahead of Sunday’s FIFA U17 World Cup final match in Chile.
The CAF boss thanked the two countries for being worthy representatives of the continent even as he charge them to continue to show the world “their technical skills and strength of character” that they have been recognised with.
“There are times when words cannot express the feeling, and I think this is one of such moments. On my behalf, and that of the CAF Executive Committee, I congratulate the young players from Mali and Nigeria who have offered us moments of indescribable joy”, said Issa Hayatou, who has been carefully observing the proceedings of the tournament.
“The results and performances of the two teams in the competition have left, in the opinion of many, much to be desired. But we had to realize the promise of the flowers and the young did so masterfully for the happiness of all the great African football family and the continent.
“I am pleased that these results are obtained with essentially local technical persons, a testament to the quality and potential of African coaches. This reinforces the densification of our licensing program for coaches and multiplying opportunities for capacity building of African coaches,” assured Hayatou, also currently Acting FIFA President.
On Sunday, the two West African sides will clash at the Estadio Sausalito in Vina del Mar in what is only the second –ever All-African final, since Nigeria and Ghana clashed in Japan 22 years ago, with the Eaglets winning 2-1.