By Victor Kanayo
The 2024 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup final qualifying round first leg match between Nigeria and Burundi has now been slated for Dar es Salaam in nearby Tanzania.
The game was moved out of Bujumbura in Burundi after its pitch was declared unfit by FIFA.
This was disclosed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in a press statement.
Part of the statement reads, “It has also been clarified that following the expansion of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup to a 24-team tournament (from the 16-team event that it was at the last edition in Costa Rica last year), and the granting of two more slots to Africa, the fixture between Nigeria and Burundi will be the final qualifying round, with the winner over two picks picking up a ticket to Colombia.
“Burundi will now host the Falconets at the Azam Stadium Complex in Dar es Salaam – the same venue where the Falconets played a 1-1 draw with their Tanzanian counterparts in the last round, before edging the Tanzanians 2-1 in Abuja to reach this stage.”
The Nigerian girls will resume training on Thursday, December 28, 2023, ahead of the two crucial ties.
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has also named South African official, Nonjabulo Nonhle Ndlela as referee for the match that has been scheduled for Sunday, January 14, 2024, with her compatriots Maneo Evodia Tau and Nandipha Menze as first and second assistant referees respectively. Nteboheleng Theresia Setoko from Lesotho will be the fourth official.
Angelique Tuyishime from Rwanda will be in the role of commissioner, with Fransiska Katjaimo from Namibia as referee assessor.
For the return leg at the MKO Abiola National Stadium Abuja, on Saturday, 20 January, 2024, Tunisian official Asma Chouchane will be the referee, with her compatriots Houda Afine, Nesrine Ouertatani and Emna Ajbouni as assistant 1, assistant 2 and fourth official respectively. Christine Ziga from Ghana and Fadouma Dia from Senegal will serve as commissioner and referee assessor respectively.