Nigeria will take on neighbours Togo in the 2019 WAFU Cup of Nations holding in Thies, Senegal from Sept. 28 to Oct. 13, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, said in a statement on Friday that the new format means a first round straight knockout.
“The winners will proceed to challenge for the trophy, while the losers go on to contest for the Plate,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian team, known as the Eagles B, lost to host nation Ghana in the final of the last edition in September 2017.
“The Eagles B will battle Togo’s Sparrow Hawks on Sept. 29.
“Matches will then proceed in the same knockout format until the winner emerges on Oct. 13,’’ Olajire said.
NAN reports that the competition’s organisers were compelled to invite Morocco, a North African nation, following the subsisting FIFA ban that bars Sierra Leone from partaking in international football.
Although the ban may be lifted before the tournament kicks off, Sierra Leone’s footballers have again been denied the much-needed exposure and excitement due to a FIFA ban.
The ban had led to Sierra Leone being thrown out of the 2019 AFCON qualifying series, in which they had a great chance of qualification after beating Kenya in Freetown.
Hosts Senegal will open the WAFU Cup of Nations finals against Guinea Bissau on Sept. 28.
THE FULL FIXTURES
Nigeria Vs Togo
Senegal Vs Guinea Bissau
Ghana Vs Gambia
Morocco Vs Liberia
Mali Vs Niger Republic
Cote d’Ivoire Vs Cape Verde
Burkina Faso Vs Mauritania
Guinea Vs Benin Republic