The Nigeria U-20 menâ€™sÂ Â Â team, Flying Eagles flew out of Lagos on Wednesday afternoon and were being expected at Doha International Airport, Qatar, at midnight, to commence their final prepatations for the 17th FIFA U-20 World Cup finals coming up in Egypt September/October this year.
Head Coach Samson Siasia and his assistant Sunildat Kalika led a group of 20 players out aboard Qatar Airways, and the team will train at the worldâ€“renowned Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence for 10 days before travelling to Egypt for a four â€“nation invitational. The delegation was led by NFF Technical Committee member, Barrister Godwin Dudu-Orumen.
On Wednesday afternoon, Aspireâ€™s Director of Sports, Dr. Andreas Bleicher, told officials of the Nigeria Football Federation that the Flying Eagles, runnersâ€“up at the global championship in 1989 and 2005, will train on a brand new pitch that has just been completed inside the Aspire Zone. Siasiaâ€™s boys will be the first team to use the turf.
Officials of the Aspire Academy and indeed the footballâ€“loving population of Qatar are looking forward to the stay of the Nigerians, fourâ€“time African champions, and they are united in their view that exâ€“international striker Samson Siasia is capable of conquering the world with the Flying Eagles in Egypt.
Originally, 30 players were proposed by Siasia but some of them, particularly the foreignâ€“based ones, failed to submit information page of their international passports early enough for the Qatar Ministry of Interior to issue them entry visa. Some of them will be able to join the team in a few days.
The Nigeria team will be in Qatar until July 18 when they will depart for Cairo for a four â€“nation invitational tournament that will also involve the World Cup hosts, and players will go on break before the friendly international with African champions Ghana billed for Accra in August.