1st September, 2010
Nigeriaâ€™s Super Eagles will have their first competitive match after their woeful performance at the South Africa 2010 World Cup this Sunday in Calabar.
The match is one of the qualifying games ahead of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. The Eagles will be out to test their might against a lowly rated senior national team of Madagascar.
The match is not only important to the Super Eagles, who will be out to clean up their act after their dismal show at the World Cup, it is also going to be a very crucial match for their standing-in coach, Austin Eguavoen, who could be handling the team for the last time as their coach.
The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, is planning to name Samson Siasia as the new coach of the Eagles, while Eguavoen is to be drafted to the U-23 Eagles to prepare the team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Siasia is the popular choice of majority of Nigerians to succeed Swede Lars Lagerback, who failed to return after taking a vacation to see his family at the end of the World Cup.
The Eagles are currently sweating it out at their Abuja camp, but Eguavoen is still having problems coping with the late arrival of the Europe-based players. He specifically mentioned Chelseaâ€™s John Mikel Obi for refusing to pick his call when he tried to get across to him to know his arrival time for the crucial qualifier.
Defender Joseph Yobo has delayed his arrival to the Nigeria squad until today as he gets set to seal a move away from Everton. West Ham are at the top of a queue of clubs hoping to lure the Nigeria captain away from Goodison Park, following an irretrievable breakdown in his relationship with manager David Moyes.
Obafemi Martins and Femi Ajilore are the first of Nigeriaâ€™s foreign-based stars to arrive the country ahead of this weekend’s qualifying match.
Fifteen players from Europe and 11 home-based players have been called up by Eguavoen.
NFF Media Officer Robinson Okosun said about three of the local lads reported when the camp was opened on Sunday night, saying more of them have reported.
â€œWe expect the majority of the players to be in camp before close of work on Wednesday (Today)â€, Okosun said.
Joseph Akpala, who picked up an injury during his club’s assignment will miss the encounter.
It was gathered that Eguavoen has invited Flying eagles’ Stanley â€˜Little Messiâ€™ Okoro to replace Akpalla.
Defender, Sam Sodje, whose transfer to Greek club, Xanthi, collapsed over a complaint on his knee, has arrived the country for the game.