Nigeria’s Super Sand Eagles on Thursday night left Nigeria to participate in the 9th FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals, in Nassau, Bahamas from April 27 to May 7.
The spokesperson of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ademola Olajire disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.
According to the statement, eight of the players that made the final cut of 12 travelled on Thursday night along with the coaches and backroom staff.
”The remaining four players, who only got their transit entry visas into the United States of America on Thursday, are scheduled to fly out on Tuesday,” the statement read.
It added that the African vice champions were led by Coach Audu Adamu, with highly experienced players like Isiaka Olawale, Ogbonnaya Okemiri, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Abu Azeez, Victor Tale and goalkeeper Godwin Anyalogu.
Also in the team are upcoming but talented and fearless Godspower Igudia, Emeka Ogbonna, Emmanuel Owhoferia and Suleiman Mohammed.
”Thursday’s group flew aboard Delta Airline, to connect Atlanta, USA before the short flight into Nassau.
The party to leave on Tuesday will also fly Delta Airline, with only one official to travel through Amsterdam and Panama aboard KLM, Royal Dutch Airline,” the statement read.
It quoted Coach Audu Adamu, who saw the team to a 7th place finish at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Ravenna, Italy, as saying they were battle ready to give their best to the biggest stage in world football.
”This is the biggest stage in world football, and we are battle ready to give our very best.
“We are not new to this level. In 2011, we came close to making the semi finals but lost to Brazil after extra time in Italy.
”I am happy that I still have a good number of players who featured in that competition, and we will approach the tournament in Nassau with confidence and the right mental attitude,” Adamu said.
NAN recalls that Nigeria participated in four of the previous eight FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup competitions.
They crashed out at group stage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006 and in Dubai, UAE in 2009, but made it to the quarter finals in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and in Ravenna, Italy six years ago.
The Supersand Eagles’ have been drawn in Group B with Italy, Iran and Mexico.
Their first match in Nassau comes up on April 27 against Italy, with further matches against Asian champions Iran and Mexico (CONCACAF runners-up) to come in Group B.