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Ikpeme tasks Dream Team VI, Falcons to focus on Olympic tickets

The Nigeria Football Association (NFA), has urged the National U-23 football team ``Dream Team VI’’ and the female national team, the Super Falcons, to focus on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics Games. Emmanuel Ikepme, the Deputy General Secretary of the NFA, said in a statement on Tuesday. The NFA commended the two teams for qualifying…

the super falconsThe Nigeria Football Association (NFA), has urged the National U-23 football team “Dream Team VI’’ and the female national team, the Super Falcons, to focus on qualifying for the 2016 Olympics Games.

Emmanuel Ikepme, the Deputy General Secretary of the NFA, said in a statement on Tuesday.

The NFA commended the two teams for qualifying for the forthcoming All Africa Games after the Dream Team defeated Zambia 2-1 in Lusaka on Saturday, while the Falcons also beat Mali 9-1 on goal aggregate.

“They should immediately put celebration on the shelf and think of the next big challenge.

“There is no doubt that you have done the country proud with this victory. You showed the excellent fighting spirit for which the average Nigerian is reknown all over the world.

“However, I want you to see this as a wake-up call for bigger challenges.

“Now that you have been able to turn the table against Zambia at home to qualify for the All-Africa Games, Nigerians will expect you to defeat any other team at major championships,” the staement said.

It recalled that Nigeria failed to qualify in the male and female categories of the last All Africa Games held in Mozambique in 2011 and the 2012 Olympics held in London.

“You have done what your predecessors could not do, but there is more for you to do.

“Both teams started well, but it is not yet time for celebration. There are hurdles to climb to get to Rio de Janeiro,” the statement further said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Dream Team VI would commence the race to 2016 Olympics Games on May 9 when they face Mali in Abuja, with the return leg in Bamako, a week later.

The winner of the encounter will later play the winner of the preliminary match between Ghana and Liberia.

The winner of the tie would then book a slot for the final round of the qualifiers for the CAF U-23 Championship in Senegal in December.

Three Africa representatives at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil would be determine in the Senegal championship.