Nigerian coach Gernot Rohr and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have instructed all the players from the squad list to report to training in Uyo on Monday, October 8th at the latest. However, only four Super Eagles have turned up on Monday: Isaac Success, William Ekong, Semi Ajayi and Daniel Akpeyi who had to fly to Port Harcourt and then drive to Uyo.
The rest of the squad have had big trouble in getting direct flights and many have had to look for alternative routes. The reason for these problems are the political ongoings in the South geopolitical zone resulting in all flights being booked, leaving none available for the players, who couldn’t book them until the final squad list was announced. The political gathering in Uyo, which is the capital of the Akwa Ibom state, has indeed forced the Nigerian international stars to get creative.
Coach Rohr said on Tuesday morning that he was hopeful most of the players would arrive by Tuesday lunchtime. A couple of the players, Ahmed Musa and Shehu Abdullahi have just boarded a plane from Lagos to Uyo at the time Rohr talked to the press.
At the same time, at the airport in Abuja, Alex Iwobi, Leon Balogun and Ola Aina, were waiting for a connecting flight which will take them to Uyo and then to the Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, where the training camp is situated. While the coach is worried that some of his players won’t be available at tonight’s training session, he is hopeful that the majority will make it.
Leicester City duo, Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho have also been delayed and are supposed to fly from Lagos later in the day.
The training session is scheduled for 5 pm local time, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, where the coaches will start their preparations for the all-important home match against Libya on Friday.
Nigeria will be playing Libya twice in just four days. After the first match in Uyo, which is a must win for the Super Eagles, they are travelling to Tunisia for a back to back game where Libya will play the hosts on Monday, October 15th. If they could get a point out of this game, then they would be in the front seat position to be one of the top two teams in the group, or even first if they manage to defeat South Africa in November. For sure, the Super Eagles are favourites to qualify for the 2019 African cup of Nations (AFCON).