Defending champions the Olympic Eagles of Nigeria got off their campaign at the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nations on a dour note following a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire at the Al Salam Stadium, Cairo, on Saturday evening.

Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, is awaiting a response from the Sports Ministry and Presidential Task Force on the COVID-19 to a request to begin camping for the qualification matches of the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women Cups.

Nigerian women will face Burkina Faso in the U-20 in mid-September, while the U-17 women will face their Ghanaian counterparts in early October. The NFF needs to camp the women early and prepare them not just for the games, but also to test the teams for COVID-19 as required by FIFA and CAF guidelines.

The NFF said: “Pertaining to the preparation of the U-20 and U-17 Women national teams for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying matches, the Board announced that having written to the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for a special waiver to call the girls to camp, it would await a response from the Government before making any moves for the camping program.”

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has not announced the lifting of suspension on football activities. The suspension started in March 2020 when the cases of COVID-19 patients started rising in Nigeria.

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