As players hit camp, CAF picks Algerian referee for Eagles, Sao Tome tie
The first set of Super Eagles players arrived at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in the early hours of yesterday, ahead of the final game of the 2023 AFCON qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe. The match will hold on Sunday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium.
The players were received by the State FA Normalisation Committee, and are camped at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel.
Belgium-based duo of Torunarigha Jodan and Orban Gift, Cyprus-based Uzoho Francis, Ebuehi Tyrone, Adeleye Adebayo, Onyemachi Bruno, Boniface Victor, and Raphael Onyedika were the first set of players to arrive.
In the heart of Uyo, the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium buzzed with excitement, yesterday, as it prepared for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Super Eagles Team Coordinator, Patrick Pascal, told The Guardian that eight players trained at the Stadium complex yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, Algerian referees, led by seasoned official Lahlou Benbraham, have been picked by the Confederations of African Football (CAF) to officiate the match.
His compatriots, Brahim El Hamlaoui Sid Ali and Mohammed Serradj are the match Assistant Referees, while Nabil Boukhalfa is the Fourth Official.
CAF also appointed Ghana’s Prosper Addo as the Match Commissioner, ensuring a well-organised game. Togolese Komi Konyoh takes the role of Referee Assessor, evaluating the officiating team’s performance.
Nigeria’s Ozoemena Joseph served as the General Match Coordinator, overseeing various aspects of the match’s logistics.
The 10-0 scoreline nothwithstanding, the Falcons of Sao Tome and Principe have boasted that they are determined to make their mark in their last chance at the AFCON qualifiers. The team is coming to Uyo with a different squad made up of entirely foreign-based stars, with the hope of winning their first match in the race.
The government and people of Akwa Ibom have promised a thrilling atmosphere for all visiting fans, players and officials on Sunday evening.
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