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Pre-AFCON friendly: Zimbabwe’s Warriors to arrive in Nigeria Thursday

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Ademola Olajire

A 26-man delegation of the senior national male football team of Zimbabwe, known as the Warriors, will arrive in Nigeria on Thursday night aboard a South African Airways flight.

Ademola Olajire, the Director of Communications at Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said in a statement on Wednesday that the team was being expected in Lagos.

He said the team which would later be heading to Asaba was being expected ahead of Saturday’s pre-AFCON international friendly with the Super Eagles.

“The NFF learnt the Zimbabwe delegation will spend Thursday night in Lagos, and take a flight to Asaba on Friday morning.

“On Friday evening, the Warriors will hold their official training session at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, venue of Saturday’s encounter which begins at 6 p.m.,’’ the NFF official said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zimbabwe will campaign in the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) finals taking place in Egypt from June 21 to July 19.

They will play alongside host nation Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda in Group A.

On the other hand, Nigeria are the seeded team in Group B which also has Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar.

The Warriors will actually kick off the tournament against hosts Egypt at the Cairo Stadium on June 21.

Meanwhile, three-times champions Nigeria have fully settled down in Asaba for the match, which is the first of their two remaining games leading up to the AFCON.

Their last match is against Senegal, Africa’s number one-ranked team, in the Egyptian city of Ismailia on June 16.

Of the 25 players invited by Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr for the final phase of the preparations, only defender William Ekong is expected to arrive on Thursday.

Defender Abdullahi Shehu and forwards Ahmed Musa and Alex Iwobi arrived the team’s camp just before lunch on Wednesday.

Forward Odion Ighalo, top scorer in the entire qualifying campaign, was expected on Wednesday night.

After Saturday’s game, the Nigeria contingent will head to Egypt on Sunday for another week of intensive strategy and tactics perfection.The NFF must submit the final list of 23 players to the Confederation of African Football by Tuesday.


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