The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has charged the Flying Eagles to put behind Monday’s semi-finals loss to The Gambia at the ongoing Under-20 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) and focus on the World Cup.

Dare gave the charge on Tuesday in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Toyin Ibitoye.

He expressed regret over the team’s inability to play in the AFCON final but commended them for picking a World Cup ticket.

“The Honourable Minister encouraged the boys. Everybody is disappointed we didn’t make it to the final but that is football for you.


“I believe they will redeem themselves by winning Friday’s third place match.

“Now we have to also focus on doing a lot better at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia in May.

“There is very little time left but I believe the coaches now know where their focus should be in improving the team,” the statement quoted Dare as saying.

The Flying Eagles lost 0-1 to their Gambian counterparts in the second semi-finals of the ongoing Under-20 AFCON played at the Cairo International Stadium in Egypt on Monday.

Having lost the encounter, the Nigerian team will now square up against Tunisia on Friday in the third place match.

Tunisia had also lost their semi-final match after they were beaten 3-0 by Senegal who now have a date with The Gambia in the final on Saturday.