Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi
By Olawale Ajimotokan
Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi and two officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will fly to South Africa Monday, to witness the draw ceremony of the 29th Africa Cup of Nations.
The event is billed for Durban on Wednesday and will determine the exact groups and centres the 16 participating teams will be playing at the continent’s blue-ribbon spectacle in South Africa between January 19 - February 10, 2013.
We learnt that Keshi will travel out of Lagos with the Chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Chris Green and Super Eagles team secretary, Enebi Achor.
Nigeria, already put in Pot 2, is already expecting the short end of the straw, as it will definitely be assigned to any of Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, South Africa and defending champions, Zambia from Pot 1.
According to NFF sources, the decision to engage both Green and Enebi on the trip is essential, as the draw is to help the Super Eagles in firming up the right plans ahead of the Nations Cup which Nigeria last won in 1994.
While in South Africa, Keshi and others will critically assess the training facilities as well as hotel accommodation assigned for the team for their group fixtures.
They may even arrange for alternative accommodation outside the designated hotel by the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) if they are not satisfied with the quality and conduciveness of the facilities on offer.
And with Nigeria likely to play two of their three group matches in two centres, the Nigerian delegation will in addition have to inspect facilities at the second designated venue.
The group and knock out stages matches will be played in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit, Rustenburg and, Johannesburg.
The Soccer City (Johannesburg) with a crowd capacity 94,000, will host the opening ceremony and final match on February.
Nigeria is returning to the Africa Cup of Nations after it failed to book a place to the last edition held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea 2012.
The Eagles will commence their training programme for the Nations Cup in the first week of December with a proposed camping at the adidas training centre in Germany for home-based players, while the final camping phase leading to the competition will hold in either Zimbabwe or Mozambique.