Officials have disclosed that the Super Eagles will depart for the AFCON in Cameroon on January 5, six days before their opening group game against seven-time champions, Egypt.
The dismissal of coach Gernot Rohr just weeks to the AFCON as well as the NFF indecisiveness over whether a new foreign coach or caretaker coach Austin Eguavoen will lead the team will most certainly affect team preparation adversely.
The Eagles’ training camp in Abuja will now open on Wednesday with Enyimba goalkeeper John Noble, South Africa-based pair of Daniel Akpeyi and Olisa Ndah as well as Odion Ighalo from Saudi Arabia expected to be the early birds in
But most of the 28 players picked for the tournament are now expected to release by their European clubs much closer to the team’s departure to Cameroon. Rangers FC stars Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun, Zaidu Sanusi from FC Porto and Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho are due to join up by January 3.
The team’s chaotic build-up means that it will be very difficult to arrange a decent warm-up game before their opening group game. Officials had hoped for at least three test games to prepare the Eagles for the AFCON.