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Under-23 team not there yet, says Siasia


• NFF clears air on Iwobi

NATIONAL U-23 team coach, Samson Siasia, says that though his team won 4-1 against Gabon on Saturday, the squad is still work in progress as he is still trying to get the right players for the each position.

  Commending the boys for putting up a brave show in their first competitive game, the former Super Eagles gaffer added that many of the boys were playing big time football for the first time, and that hopefully as they play together they will bond well.

 “Having in mind that this team has been together for barely three months, Nigerians should appreciate what these boys did today. I am really impressed with all of them, they played as a team, meaning that all the hard work we put them through in the past three months has not been in vain.”

 Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has explained its decision to take Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi to Gabon for Saturday’s 11th All-Africa Games qualifier. 

  According to NFF’s Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, the NFF decided to take the striker along as part of the new administration’s policy of encouraging Nigerians in the Diaspora to identify with the national teams and make up their mind to play for the team.

  “We all know that the U-23 team is like the feeder team for the new Super Eagles we are trying to build, so bringing the young man to be part of this team was done on purpose. 

Now that he has fitted and bonded with the team, our next target is trying to see how we can firm up the paper work with FIFA then invite him to the Super Eagles for any of our upcoming international friendlies.”

  Ikpeme disclosed that very soon more of such players would eventually be invited to be part of the national team set-up.


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