The Nigeria national team have officially kick-started preparations for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone with 16 players taking part in the maiden training session on Tuesday.
Chidozie Awaziem, Kelechi Iheanacho, and Emmanuel Dennis were the latest set of arrivals in the Benin City camp of the Super Eagles.
According to the updates from the official Twitter page of the Super Eagles, Captain Ahmed Musa, and 12 other players were also on the ground to kick off the preparations.
Those already at Protea Hotel Emotan in Benin City are the England-based trio of William Troost-Ekong, Alex Iwobi, Ola Aina.
Our camp is bubbling as more players arrive. #SoarSuperEagles #Team9jaStrong #AFCON2021Q pic.twitter.com/qQ2j0mA38Q
— 🇳🇬 Super Eagles (@NGSuperEagles) November 10, 2020
Joe Aribo and Leon Balogun who both play for the Scottish side Rangers are also in, alongside goalkeepers Maduka Okoye, Sebastian Osigwe and Ikechukwu Ezenwa who was called up as a late replacement for Daniel Akpeyi.
The other players invited by coach Gernot Rohr and are already in town are Kevin Akpoguma, Zaidu Sanusi, Tyronne Ebuehi, and Etebo Oghenekaro who is returning to the team after missing the two friendly games against Tunisia and Algeria in October.
The Super Eagles take on the Leone Stars at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Friday, 13th November before flying to Freetown for the return game on Tuesday, 17th November at the Siaka Stevens Stadium.
In the light of the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria Football Federation in compliance to guidelines given by the Confederation of African Football has announced strict protocols for Friday’s game.
The NFF has already stated it clear that neither the fans nor the media will be allowed entry into the stadium for the Super Eagles’ tie against the Leone Stars.
The NFF in an official statement said: “In the guidelines communicated to the Nigeria Football Federation, CAF instructed, under Media Operations, that there would be no mixed zone, virtual press conference only if possible (media officers from both teams only), and that only the TV channels with the rights will be allowed flash interviews.
“Also, only photographers of participating teams would be allowed at the match.”