20th May, 2010
Lars Lagerback will lead the Super Eagles out for his first training session today at the National Stadium Abuja.
The Swedeâ€™s original programme did not include an in-country training session, but after seeing a Presidential Send Forth Dinner moved by a day, Lagerback is refusing to waste one full day and has scheduled training for the first full day of camp.
Thirteen players showed up on the opening day of camp, with Everton forward Yakubu Ayegbeni and Lokomotiv Moscow man, Osaze Odemwingie, the most high profile arrivals.
Yakubu was accompanied in by fellow Toffee Victor Anichebe last night. Others who arrived earlier are Obafemi Martins, Chidi Odiah, Rabiu Afolabi, Haruna Lukman, Brown Ideye, Peter Utaka, Elderson Echiejile, Chinedu Obasi and the two players from the domestic league, Akpan Bassey and Terna Suswan.
Lagerback himself came in yesterday evening and the rest of the squad are expected to be in latest today.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, believes President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s support for the Eagles will not only motivate the team to do well in the World Cup, but it would bring luck to the Eagles to excel in the mundial.
NFF President, Sani Lulu Abdulahi, stated that Jonathanâ€™s strong desire for the team to do well at the World Cup and his personal interest in the team were enough motivation for the players.
He said Nigerians and indeed the NFF is lucky to have Jonathan as the President, adding that Jonathanâ€™s strong belief in the team made him to agree to personally send forth the Eagles with an elaborate dinner in Abuja tomorrow.
â€œMr President wants to let the whole world know that the people and government of Nigeria are solidly behind the team in South Africa, because Super Eaglesâ€™ presence in South Africa is a Nigerian project, which must be supported by everybody,â€ he said on AIT early today.
KickOffNigeria.com reports thatÂ officials of the NFF will meet with the Eagles players today to present and negotiate the teamâ€™s World Cup bonus package.
A top official of the Glass House said the NFF is proposing a graduated bonus package for the team for the World Cup.
Under the plan, each player will get $10,000 for a first round win, $12,500 for a win in the Round of 16, $15,000 for a quarter-final win, and $20,000 for a semi-final win. In the event that they reach the world Cup final, they will be paid at least $25,000.
â€œThis is without prejudice to whatever additional bonuses the Presidential Task Force will want to offer them,â€ the report added.
However, it is understood that the players will push to have even more from the knockout stages.
Player sources tell KickOffNigeria.com that a figure in the region of an additional $5,000 to the NFF offer is what the players want for the knockout stages.