The home –based Super Eagles contingent have started their preparations for the 5th African Nations Championship scheduled for Morocco 13th January – 4th February 2018.
According to Nigerian Football Federation, the team started camp over the weekend in Kano under the tutelage of Head Coach Salisu Yusuf and his crew.
Yusuf, also Chief Coach of the Russia-bound A squad, has called up 30 players for the first phase of the preparations, in which the 2014 CHAN bronze medallists would test strength with the nation’s leading domestic clubs in the annual Super Six Tournament.
The Super Eagles A team’s safe hands Ikechukwu Ezenwa, defenders Stephen Eze, Osas Okoro and Adeleye Olamilekan, midfielders Afeez Aremu, Rabiu Ali and Ifeanyi Ifeanyi as well as forwards Kingsley Eduwo, Sikiru Olatubosun and Anthony Okpotu are among those who will battle for shirts.
The glamour Super Six Tournament, traditionally organized to set Nigeria’s flag-bearers in continental competitions in battle mood after the lull and inactivity of the post –season break, will this year welcome NPFL reigning champions Plateau United, MFM FC, Akwa United FC, homers Kano Pillars and Enyimba FC, as well as the Super Eagles B.
The first matches are slated for Monday at the Sani Abacha Stadium, where the Eagles overpowered their counterparts from Benin Republic 2-0 on 19th August to qualify for the 5th African Nations Championship.
Rwanda will tackle Nigeria, 2014 champions Libya, and Equatorial Guinea in the group stage at the 5th African Nations Championship. The matches of Group C will be played in Tangier.
Rwanda was the last team to qualify for the finals, after edging Ethiopia 3-2 on aggregate in a play –off that was necessitated by Egypt’s decision to forfeit her slot at the championship. Equatorial Guinea qualified for the finals following the withdrawal of Gabon.
Libya shocked the African football family by winning the 2014 edition in South Africa at the expense of Ghana, despite the North African nation being embroiled in political turmoil at the time.
Hosts Morocco, Guinea, Sudan and Mauritania are in Group A, in the event pitting the Atlas Lions against Mauritania in the opening match of the competition, at the Mohamed V Stadium in Casablanca on 13th January.
Hosts of the inaugural edition of the competition in 2009, Cote d’Ivoire head Group B that will be based in Marrakech, and have Zambia, Uganda and Namibia as group mates.
Group D, based in Agadir, has 2011 runners-up Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Burkina Faso.
Group A (Casablanca): Morocco, Guinea, Sudan and Mauritania
Group B (Marrakech): Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia
Group C (Tangier): Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea
Group D (Agadir): Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Burkina Faso