Nigeria’s Super Eagles will have their resumption to camp date fast-tracked from its earlier August 19 date as the secretariat of the Nigeria Football has confirmed that the team will play and international friendly against the Menas of Niger Republic on August 15.
The game will be played in the Niger capital, Niamey and is expected to feature mainly home-based Super Eagles players, as part of preparation for the September 8, Nations Cup qualifier against the Lone Star of Liberia in Monrovia.
NFF officials, who spoke on behalf of General Secretary Musa Amadu, say players list that will be released soon will report to camp at the Bolton White Apartment in Abuja between Saturday August 4 and Sunday August 5.
The NFF leadership has repeatedly say it would not take preparations for the tie against Liberia for granted, hence the latest change in the date of resumption of the team to camp.
Eagles’ media officer says the list of players will be made public soon by Head Coach, Stephen Keshi. Plans are also afoot for a second friendly for the team before the Liberian clash
Meanwhile, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the death of Nigeria’s iconic footballer, Teslim Balogun, nicknamed Thunder, the Nigeria Football Federation has hailed the late player’s pioneering efforts, dynamism and commitment to fatherland.
Born Tesilimi Balogun to a cricketer father, Oseni Omomeji Ali Balogun and to a business-woman mother, Thunder was Nigeria’s first authentic goalscoring hero and did magical things with the ball, leading his different clubs to triumphs in the then Challenge Cup competition and being a member of the Senior National Team between 1949 and 1955.
“Certainly, there was none like Thunder,” said High Chief Emeka Inyama, Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee.
“Footballers of today need to study a lot about the late Thunder Balogun to know the meaning of true commitment, invention and patriotism.”
Teslim Balogun, after whom the pretty stadium adjacent to the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos was named, was Nigeria’s first professional footballer, when he played part-time for Queens Park Rangers as he studied to be a physical training instructor in the United Kingdom in the 1950s.
The magnificent footballer died in July 1972, having attained the position of Chief Coach in the Western Region Sports Council.
Also on Thursday, High Chief Inyama commended the efforts of the Teslim Balogun Foundation towards remembering the late footballer.