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2025 U-17 AFCON to Retain 12-Team Format Despite FIFA's Increased Allocation: Nigeria's Golden Eaglets Miss Qualification

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has officially confirmed that the 2025 Africa U17 Cup of Nations will proceed with a field of 12 teams, dispelling earlier expectations of a potential expansion to 16 teams. This decision comes in the wake of Nigeria's victory over Ghana in the third-place match of the WAFU B U17 Championship.

Nigeria's Golden Eaglets clinched a hard-fought 3-2 triumph against Ghana, sparking optimism for qualification to the U17 Africa Cup of Nations. However, Samson Adamu, CAF's Director of Competitions, unequivocally stated, "The final tournament will still have 12 teams," quashing any notions of an expanded format.

Anticipation had mounted among African football enthusiasts following FIFA's recent resolution at its Congress in Bangkok, wherein 10 slots were allocated to Africa for the 2025 FIFA U17 World Cup, slated to be hosted by Qatar. This decision fueled speculation that the Africa U17 Cup of Nations would mirror this expansion to accommodate more teams.

Despite the heightened expectations, the existing structure remains intact, meaning that Nigeria's victory in the WAFU B Championship does not guarantee automatic qualification for the 2025 Africa U17 Cup of Nations. Qatar is poised to host five consecutive FIFA U17 World Cup finals starting from the next year, each featuring 48 teams, yet the Africa U17 Cup of Nations will uphold its 12-team configuration.

As the qualification process unfolds for the forthcoming U17 Africa Cup of Nations, stay tuned for further updates on team selections and tournament developments.

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