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Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Thursday, 23 October 2008 20:20 UK

Nigeria gives up under-17 event

By Oluwashina Okeleji
BBC Sport, Lagos

President of CAF Issa Hayatou
Issa Hayatou has called for Nigeria to 'review' the decision

The BBC has learned that Nigeria's Football Federation (NFF) has told Fifa it wants to pull out of hosting the Under-17 World Cup in 2009.

The Nigerian government had already said that funding the $30 million budget was not a priority.

Now the BBC understands that the NFF has already renounced the right to host the global event.

The president of CAF, Issa Hayatou, has responded by saying he is "extremely disappointed and shocked" by the move.

In a letter seen by the BBC, Mr Hayatou reminded the NFF that only African countries had been able to bid for the event because of the senior World Cup in South Africa 2010.

"The decision ... is embarrassing not only for CAF but for the whole African continent," he wrote.

He called on Nigeria to change its mind.

"We count on your wisdom to review this decision since Nigeria, as one of the football powerhouses of the African continent, is one of the countries which can make Africa proud whenever hosting world sporting events."

Nigeria are the current Under-17 World Champions, having triumphed in South Korea last year.

World football's governing body Fifa say that they are looking into the situatuion, while the NFF are yet to comment on the matter.

see also
Nigeria U-17 World Cup in doubt
22 Oct 08 |  African

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