Abubakar leads Nigeria’s 18-man football team to 12th Africa Games
Plateau United’s Ibrahim Abubakar will captain Nigeria’s football team to the 12th African Games scheduled to begin in Morocco on August 16, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed.
In a statement yesterday, the NFF disclosed that Coach Paul Aigbogun has chosen 18 players for the event. It added that the national U-20 team, which will represent the country at the event, has been training in Abuja for the past two weeks in preparation for Africa’s showpiece multi-sport event.
According to the NFF, the team of 18 players and their officials will arrive in Lagos today and then fly to Morocco tomorrow morning.
“Aigbogun has kept faith with the bulk of the players who were part of the training camp in Germany before the FIFA U20 World Cup held in Poland May/June this year,” it added.
Apart from Plateau United’s Abubakar, other players in the squad are Success Makanjuola, Chinonso Emeka, Peter Eletu, Collins Sor and Rabiu Mohammed, who all featured at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland.
Also in the team are Detan Ogundare (Kogi United) and Matthew Yakubu (Clique Sports), who are goalkeepers, as well as defenders, Mike Zaruma (Plateau United), Habibu Sadiq Yakubu (Rarara FC), Victor Arikpo Eteng (Sidos FC) and Sanusi Abdulmutallif (Katsina United).
The midfielders in the squad are Adewale Oladoye (Water FC), Liameed Quadri (36 Lions), Samuel Nnoshiri (Heartland) and Abubakar Ibrahim (Plateau United).
The forwards are Saeed Jibril (Plateau United), Ahmad Ghali (MFM) and Adesina Gata (Wikki Tourists).
The Flying Eagles will start their campaign in the football event on Friday, 16th August against Burkina Faso in Rabat. The team will also play against South African and hosts, Morocco in the group stage of the competition.
Captain of the team, Ibrahim Abubakar told thenff.com that the team will do its best to put Nigeria on the podium at the continental Games.
“We have been preparing hard at training and the coaches have also been talking to us and telling us about the importance of the competition,” he said.
“I know Nigerians want us to do well and we want to make sure we make them proud by doing all we can to go as far as we can at the Games. This is a great opportunity for me and my teammates to make the nation proud and we are determined to do so,” Abubakar added.