World champions Golden Eaglets on Saturday failed to progress to the final round of qualifiers for the 2017 U-17 Africa Cup of Nations after losing 3-1 to the Junior Menas of Niger in Niamey.
The Nigeria Football Federation in a statement said the game was a “highly-charged encounter full of drama more on the stands as the Nigeriens in the full glare of security threw caution to the wind as they wrestled and seized the video camera of NFF staff, Mallam Munir Shittu. The NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, was not spared either in the VIP Box as he was assaulted, even in the presence of Nigeria Diplomatic officials led by Ambassador Abduljelil Sulaiman.”
Striker Sidibe Assoumanu gave the hosts the lead in the 36th minute with a pile driver outside the box that beat a poorly positioned goalkeeper Adeleye Adebayo. Usman Musa Babalolo got the equalizer with a header with seconds to the end of the first half.
Cameroonian referee Henry Kalla gave the hosts a penalty in the 48th minute, which was converted by Mamane Bello. With minutes left to play, the hosts sealed their win through Issaka Magali, who converted from a free kick just outside the box.
“What would the Nigeriens and the officials of the match be teaching their kids at home? In all my life in football, I have never seen this kind of drama but Nigerians would not be able to see the match as all our cameras were seized.”