Flying Eagles land in Cairo

Flying Eagles of Nigeria
Flying Eagles of Nigeria

The Nigerian team’s coach initially deserted the players.

After the initial drama of Coach John Obuh deserting his wards at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja, the Nigeria U-20 team landed in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday at about 8 p.m. local time, after a five-hour flight from Abuja.

The coach later re-joined the team at the airport and travelled with them. Although no official reason has been given for the temporary abandonment, reports indicate that the coach was angry over his treatment at the hands of Nigerian football officials, particularly non-payment of his salaries and allowances.

The Media Officer of the team, Sam Audu, said the Flying Eagles have booked into the Baron Hotel in Heliopolis, while the temperature was about 15 degrees centigrade in Egypt on arrival. He did not comment on the reason for the coach’s temporary abandonment.

They will play two warm-up matches against their Egyptian counterparts on Wednesday and Friday at the Degla Stadium in Cairo.

Egypt, who placed third at the 2011 AYC in South Africa, are drawn in Group A of the 2013 competition, while defending champions Nigeria are in Group B.

The first match on Wednesday will kick off at 3 p.m. local time, which is 2p.m. Nigerian time; while the second game on Friday at the Salam Stadium will begin at 8 p.m., which is 7 p.m. Nigerian time.

Nigeria will train at the Cairo International Stadium practice pitch on Tuesday afternoon by 3 p.m. local time.

The Flying Eagles will depart Egypt on Saturday for Tunisia for a three-week training stint before they hit Algeria for the African Youth Championship, which kicks off on March 16.