16 November 2018

Nigeria/South Africa: Super Eagles Upbeat As Nigerian Delegation Flies to South Africa

Photo: Daily News
A soccer ball in the net (file photo).

Super Eagles' players and officials left Asaba yesterday for Johannesburg sure they will get a good result against the Bafana Bafana in South Africa. It is an African Nations Cup qualifier scheduled for the JNB Stadium, Johannesburg tomorrow and the Eagles need only a point to qualify for the competition.

The team had their last training session at the Stephen Keshi Stadium yesterday morning before flying out through the Asaba airport instead of the earlier advertised Benin airport.

Yesterday's morning training session was behind closed doors as the coaches did not want to reveal the team formation for the game.

The Super Eagles will have a feel of the FNB Stadium this afternoon.

After tomorrow's game, the team will return to Asaba immediately to begin preparation for Tuesday's international friendly match against Uganda.

However, before the match against Uganda, some of Nigeria's finest retired players will take to the Stephen Keshi pitch to take on a home-based selection in a friendly game.

The players, including Victor Ikpeba, Bright Omokaro, Victor Agali, Edema Fuludu and Joseph Yobo will play in that game. Other former international players expected to feature in the encounter are Mutiu Adepoju, Yisa Shofoluwe, Ike Shorunmu, Ifeanyi Udeze, Kenneth Nwaomucha, Kingsley Obiekwu, Friday Ejedegba, Ezeji Victor and Henry Nwosu, who will serve as the team manager.

Players in the home-based team are Christian Eze Nduka, Tosan Blackson, Sunny Osunde, Francis Okolo, Henry Dittimiya, Humphrey Jebba and Joe Cole.

Meanwhile, President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rafiu Ladipo was unhappy yesterday after the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) allegedly failed to honour a 'gentleman agreement' it entered with the body last month. For the second time in a row, the Eagles flew out to South Africa without a single member of the Rev. Samuel Ikpea-led group.

Shortly before the Super Eagles embarked on the trip to Tunisia for the AFCON qualifier against Libya, there was palpable tension within the Akwa Ibom international Airport when a fight broke out between the two rival factions of the Nigeria Supporters Club. Their brawl was over who should be on the Super Eagles chartered flight to Tunisia. The 15 seats allocated to the supporters club by the NFF then were handed over to the Vincent Okumagba group, which did not go down well with Ladipo and his group.

The NFF President Amaju Pinnick was said to have resolved the matter by promising Ladipo and his group that they would be on the trip to South Africa for the game against Bafana Bafana.However, the NFF failed to honour its part of the alleged agreement yesterday, as the Eagles' chattered flight left Asaba without a single member of the Ikpea-led group.

Ladipo told The Guardian that it was sad the NFF boss failed to respect his part of the 'gentleman agreement.'

"He (Pinnick) actually promised us that we will be on the trip to South Africa, but as we speak, nothing of such has happened. They told us to write, and we gave them the names of the 15 people, but I am shocked that the team has jetted out without any of our members. We won't make trouble with them, but I must say what Pinnick has done to us is very bad. We wish them well," Ladipo said.

It was not clear yesterday if any member of the Okumagba group was part of the trip to Johannesburg.

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