Football world governing body, FIFA, has admitted an error in awarding Nigeria captain Kelechi Nwakali, the bronze boot of the recently concluded FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Chile.
A statement issued by Ademola Olajire, NFF Assistant Director, Communications, said FIFA admitted the error in a letter signed by Mustapha Fahmy, Director of its Football Division and addressed to NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi.
The statement quoted FIFA in the letter as saying “we made a mistake at the closing ceremony of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015 with the distribution of the adidas Bronze Boot.
“Instead of player no. 8 of Nigeria, Samuel Chukwueze, the player Kelechi Nwakali (player no. 10 of Nigeria) received the adidas Bronze Boot.
“However, if two or more players are still equal (after goals and assists), the player who has played fewer number of minutes will be ranked first.
“With this in mind, adidas will send you another Bronze Boot in December 2015, which we will kindly ask you to hand over to Samuel Chukwueze.
“Please be informed that Kelechi Nwakali may keep his trophy,” the statement quoted FIFA’s letter as saying.
The abstract attached to the letter showed that while Nigerian Victor Osimhen scored 10 goals and made two assists to win the Golden Boot, Johannes Eggestein of Germany scored four goals to win the Silver Boot.
Nwakali, who was voted Most Valuable Player of the Tournament and earned the Golden Ball, tied with compatriot Chukwueze for third place with three goals and three assists.
However, Nwakali played more minutes (630 minutes) as against Chukwueze’s 535 minutes.