By Sedara Oluwadara
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has secured a camping base for the U23 men’s national team, otherwise known as Olympic Eagles, ahead of the team’s Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifying fixture against their Tanzanian counterparts this month.
Camping and prosecution of qualifying campaigns and tournaments of the U23 men and women teams for the Olympic Games and the African Games fall within the ambit of the Youth and Sports Development Ministry, but President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau on Friday commended the Ministry for securing the camp as it will aid the preparation of the Olympic Eagles for their qualifying campaign.
Tanzania will host the first leg of the fixture in the weekend of 21st – 23rd October, with the return leg due in Nigeria on Saturday, 29th October. The NFF has already scheduled the return leg for the Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan.
Head Coach Salisu Yusuf has invited 32 players who will resume camping in the Oyo State capital this weekend.
Nigeria won the Africa U23 Cup of Nations in Senegal in 2015, and then went ahead to win the bronze medal at the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament in Brazil the following year.
However, the class of 2019 failed to reach the knockout rounds in Egypt and thus could not earn a slot at the Olympics in Tokyo last year.
Nigeria won gold at the Olympic Men’s Football Tournament in Atlanta, the USA in 1996 and followed up with silver in Beijing, China 12 years later.