Wednesday, 09 March 2011
THE Super Eagles will reconvene in Abuja on March 14 to begin preparations for the Africa Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia, which Nigeria must win to retain hope of qualifying for the Gabon/Equatorial Guinea championship.
According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), coach Samson Siasia will begin preparations with the home-based players, who recently returned from the aborted trip to the United States (U.S.) President’s Green Bowl Soccer tournament.
Among the players billed for the camp are Bassey Akpan and Gbolahan Salami, who are expected to be left off the hook soon after a year ban, according to MTNFootball.com. Siasia is expected to pick his final squad soon, comprising mainly players based in Europe with a sprinkling of players from the Nigeria Premier League for the Group B qualifier fixed for the 27th of this month.
The NFF is expected to decide where the game would be played when its executive committee meets today in Abuja. Nigeria, which has the same three points from two games as Ethiopia, trails group leader, Guinea, which is on six points.
Madagascar is the other team in this section, with the eventual group winner guaranteed an automatic berth at next year’s Nations Cup to be jointly hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles’ former defender, Ben Iroha, believes that even without playing in the Obama Cup, which Siasia had wanted to use in assessing the local league players, Siasia should still include the players in his plans for the new Eagles.
Iroha told 2muchsports.com in Abuja that he really felt bad about the botched competition because he had told most of the players to use the Obama Cup to showcase their talents. He said: “I am so disappointed that the competition did not hold. That was a good opportunity for the NPL players to stamp their authority on the main stream Super Eagles.
“A few of the players did well at the last international friendly match at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Even the guy who scored the second goal did so well. We have good players here in the country.”