Nigeria’s preparation for this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup has suffered a setback, as the country’s junior men’s national soccer team arrived Germany, venue of their final buildup to the competition in New Zealand.
The Flying Eagles, who arrived Nuremberg, venue of their build-up camp on Sunday, reportedly travelled out without their training kits.
Administrative lapses, it will be recalled, had ensured the Flying Eagles, earlier billed to leave Lagos for Germany last Wednesday, did not fly out until Saturday.
The players, it was gathered, may not step out of their Novina Hotel in Nuremberg anytime soon, as they were yet to take delivery of their training gears.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had recently signed a threeand- a-half year kits contract with sportswear and equipment manufacturers, Nike, said to be in the region of N750 million. The Nigerian team, it was learnt, travelled on Saturday night, wearing Nike T-shirts that had only the Nike logo on them, without the logo of the NFF.
The Flying Eagles were expected to do dome gym work yesterday. “The players cannot train now because there are no training kits at the moment so they will do some gym work on Monday morning,” a source told sl10.ng.
“The new contract with Nike means we have to wait because I guess the kits are still in production and they cannot train without kits,” the source added.
Nigeria’s U-20 squad will begin training sessions in Nuremberg on Monday afternoon ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals.
But the NFF, in a statement published on its website, said officials have secured a pitch for the Flying Eagles in Nuremberg, adding that the team were to have a training session yesterday afternoon.
According to the NFF’s Assistant Director (Technical), Abdulrafiu Yusuf, “We went out this (Monday) morning and were able to secure a training pitch for the team. We are returning to the hotel now and training sessions will kick off this afternoon.”
Four overseas-based professionals will join Coach Manu Garba’s squad of 26 players in a few days, before a final list of 21 is drawn next week Friday to represent Nigeria at the World Cup finals in New Zealand.
The two –time runners-up will play Brazil, North Korea and Hungary in Group E, with venue at New Plymouth.