Head Coach of the Futsal National Team, Oladunni Oyekale, has picked his final list of 12 players for Sunday’s FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifier against Gabon in Lagos.
After two training session every day since Sunday, the former international defender settled on his team as the team headed for training on Thursday evening, barely 72 hours to Sunday’s encounter.
It is the first time that Nigeria is hosting a FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying match and the challenges have not only been in the area of preparing the Nigeria team, but also preparing the venue for match readiness, in accordance with the specific rules of a specific branch of football.
NFF officials confirmed on Thursday that the clash with Gabon will take place at the Gymnasium of the National Institute for Sports, inside the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, starting from 4pm.
The Match Commissioner, Jose Lobato from Guinea Bissau, as well as the match referees from Tunisia, will arrive in Lagos on Friday morning.
Oyekale, who represented Nigeria at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Canada in 1987 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia in 1989, winning medals in both competitions, said on Thursday that his boys will take no chances on Sunday.
“I am positive that with the level of preparations we have had, we will raise a team that will do Nigeria proud. The boys I have picked have the qualities to excel in the qualifying match and they are all match-fit.”
Oyekale was Head Coach when Nigeria took part in the African Futsal Championship in Libya four years ago, during which the team lost to Libya and Tunisia, drew with Cameroon and defeated Morocco, narrowly failing to reach the semifinals.