Super Eagles to regroup middle of next month
Kenya explains decision to shun Nigeria friendly
The Super Eagles will regroup for the final preparations for the Egypt 2019 African Nations Cup shortly after the end of the major European football seasons, a top official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has revealed.
Nigeria is in Group B alongside Burundi, Guinea and Madagascar at the African Nations Cup, which will hold in Egypt in June. And to be ready for the Super Eagles’ first game against Burundi on June 22, Coach Gernot Rohr and his wards will begin preparation for the championship in the middle of May in the country.
According to the NFF official, who pleaded anonymity, the Super Eagles will converge in Asaba before moving to a centre in North Africa for acclimatisation before heading to Egypt.
He said, “We still have two friendly games to play before our first game against Burundi, but before then, the boys will return to Nigeria to give the doctors to assess their level of fitness after the hectic European season.
“One of the friendlies is against Senegal and there is also a possible game with Ghana, but we want to play against either an East African team or a team from Southern Africa before the competition kicks off.”
With only Alex Iwobi (Europa League) in the later stages of the two main European club competitions, the officials said the Europe-based stars are expected in the country at most two weeks after the conclusion of their leagues.
Meanwhile, Kenya Coach, Sebastian Migne has explained his decision to pass on the opportunity of playing against Nigeria and Tunisia in international friendlies ahead of the African Nations Cup.
Kenya qualified to compete at the 24-nation biannual sporting showpiece in Egypt for the first time in 15 years and the government has since facilitated a three-week camp in Paris for the squad to fine tune.
According to Kenya News, Football Kenya Federation president, Nick Mwendwa has repeatedly confirmed his team is working round the clock to secure the team high-level build-up games. But Frenchman Migne is seemingly not keen on Tunisia and Nigeria.
“Playing away in Abuja or Tunis with the probability of a heavy defeat just before the tournament starts may not help the team’s confidence,” Kenya News reports.
“Then the proposed dates for these matches are too close to the tournament and there is that possibility of getting injuries. You also have to factor in the weather.”
It reported that the Harambee Stars could however face Madagascar, Uganda or Cote d’Ivoire in France, with Migne expected to name his 30-man squad for the French camp this week.
The tournament kicks off in Cairo on June 21.