Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi
With barely nine days to the all-important final round Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Star of Liberia, management of the national team assumed another dimension when the technical and medical crew at Tuesday’s training started fishing out for hidden injuries by players.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi, who led the secret search, unknown to the players said it was important because some of the highly rated players might have hidden injuries and that would not help the cause of the nation, hence the need to fish them out by the technical and medical crew.
After a close examination of the players during their pre-training exercises, no serious detection was made but not before the crew including team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran, physiotherapist; Wale Oladejo, pulled out Kabiru Umar and Benjamin Francis for special attention.
After that training went on smoothly with all players exhibiting excellent fitness, awaiting the arrival of the foreign based stars.
Dr Gyaran, said afterwards said that there were no serious injury worries, as the exercise was just a routine one targeted at players who were part of the Federations Cup final and third place games played at the weekend in Lagos.
“The team is physically intact and there is no cause for alarm, we just want to ensure that all our players are in good shape since they have been away from the national camp for sometime."
Similarly, Team Secretary, Dayo Enebi Achor, has said Nigerians should not be in a hurry to know whether the national team will play an international friendly against the Pharaohs of Egypt or not as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), leadership was still in discussion for such a game and many other friendlies, that it hopes will be good for the team.
“Talks for many friendlies with the Super Eagles are ongoing and once anyone is confirmed we will tell Nigerians," Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya quotes Achor as saying.
28TH AUG 2012...
Nigeria Pull Out of Egypt Friendly
CAPTION: Super Eagles (photo file)
Nigeria have ended their interest in playing Egypt in an international friendly in the United Arab Emirates on September 11.
The Egypt Football Association had been talking to their Nigerian counterparts for a match that would have taken place three days after the latter's 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia in Monrovia, reports the BBC.
The Pharaohs assistant coach, Diaa El-Sayed, had confirmed friendlies with West Africans Benin and Nigeria in the local media, saying "Egypt will play two friendlies against Benin and Nigeria on September 7 and 11 respectively".
But a top Nigerian official told BBC Sport on Tuesday that they have discontinued discussions with Egypt because the Nigeria Football Federation were not convinced with the logistics surrounding the proposed friendly.
Super Eagles players and officials have been informed about the cancellation.
Egypt, who were knocked out of qualifying for South Africa by Central African Republic, are preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Nigeria and Egypt met in a friendly in Dubai on April 12. Pharaohs coach, Bob Bradley fielded a strong side against a locally based Nigerian side and the seven-time African champions beat the inexperienced Super Eagles 3-2.
Meanwhile, Sierra Leone have withdrawn uncapped Nigerian Victor Igbekoyi Kayode from their squad to face Tunisia in their 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final-round qualifying match on 8 September in Freetown.