Super Eagles’ crew leave to France for Mali, Luxembourg friendlies


Nigeria’s senior national team contingents departed on Tuesday night for France ahead of Friday’s international friendly against Mali at the Stade Robert Diochon in Rouen.

The Nigerian delegation of eight players and 10 officials will depart Abuja at about 11pm after they were successfully granted entry visas to the Mali encounter billed for May 27 in France.

Earlier on Monday night, team administrator Dayo Enebi Achor, doctor Ibrahim Gyaran and equipment officer Chidi Ngoka left Nigeria as they travelled in batches.

Team coordinator Patrick Pascal confirmed the development and as well explained that he and other backroom staff secured their entry visas except for the team’s media officer Toyin Ibitoye.

“We have finally got our entry visas. We are very happy with the French Embassy and the efforts of the NFF,” Pascal told Goal.

“We are all leaving tonight (Tuesday) through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja,” he concluded.

Aside Ibitoye who is expected to travel on Wednesday night, assistant coaches Imama Amapakabo and Kennedy Boboye, physiotherapist Chris Anozie and team coordinator Patrick Pascal were granted entry visas and made the Tuesday night trip.

Stand-in captain Ogenyi Onazi led traveling players – goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Elderson Echiejile, Musa Muhammed, Abdullahi Shehu, Kingsley Madu, Etebo Oghenekaro, Aminu Umar and Brown Ideye.

Six of 26 players invited for the duel will absent from the international friendly. They are Ahmed Musa and John Mikel Obi are excused for Joseph Yobo’s testimonial, Victor Moses, defender Chidozie Awaziem and Aaron Samuel are injured.

While Troost-Ekong was unreleased by Haugesund FC for Norwegian club on Thursday, but in frame for Luxembourg tie next Tuesday, May 31.

But 20 other players include England-based goalkeepers Carl Ikeme and South Africa-based Daniel Akpeyi, defenders Kenneth Omeruo, Gbenga Arokoyo and Leon Balogun.

And midfielders Wilfred Ndidi and Raheem Lawal, forwards Kelechi Iheanacho, Moses Simon, Odion Ighalo and Alex Iwobi are also expected in camp by Wednesday morning.

After the Mali encounter, the Super Eagles will later travel to Luxembourg City on Saturday to face Luxembourg at the Josy Barthel Stadium on Tuesday evening.

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