Nigeria’s Supersand Eagles will fly out of the country on Thursday night to participate in the 9th FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals, taking place in Nassau, capital of The Bahamas, 27th April – 7th May.
The African vice champions will be led by Coach Audu Adamu, with a playing body that boasts highly experienced Isiaka Olawale, Ogbonnaya Okemiri, Bartholomew Ibenegbu, Abu Azeez, Victor Tale and goalkeeper Godwin Anyalogu, as well as upcoming but talented and fearless Godspower Igudia, Emeka Ogbonna, Emmanuel Owhoferia and Suleiman Mohammed.
Eight of the players that made the final cut of 12 will travel on Thursday night along with the coaches and backroom staff, with the remaining four (who only got their transit entry visas into the United States of America on Thursday) scheduled to fly out on Tuesday.
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.
Coach Adamu, who saw the Supersand Eagles to a 7th place finish at the 2011 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals in Ravenna, Italy, told thenff.com on Thursday: “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.”
Nigeria participated in four of the previous eight FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup competitions, crashing out at group stage in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2006 and in Dubai, UAE in 2009, but making the quarter finals in Rio de Janeiro in 2007 and in Ravenna, Italy six years ago.
The Supersand Eagles’ first match in Nassau comes up on Thursday next week, against Italy, with further matches against Asian champions Iran and Mexico (CONCACAF runners-up) to come in Group B.
SUPERSAND EAGLES FOR WORLD CUP
Godwin Anyalogu (GK); Emmanuel Owhoferia; Ogbonnaya Okemiri; Taiwo Adams; Godspower Igudia; Victor Tale; Isiaka Olawale; Abu Azeez; Emeka Ogbonna; Bartholomew Ibenegbu; Suleiman Mohammed; Paul Danjuma (GK)
FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP THE BAHAMAS 2017
GROUP A: The Bahamas, Switzerland, Ecuador, Senegal
GROUP B: Nigeria, Italy, Iran, Mexico
GROUP C: United Arab Emirates, Paraguay, Portugal, Panama
GROUP D: Brazil, Tahiti, Japan, Poland
PREVIOUS FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP FINALS
. Rio de Janeiro 2005
. Rio de Janeiro 2006
. Rio de Janeiro 2007
. Marseilles 2008
. Dubai 2009
. Italy 2011
. Tahiti 2013
. Portugal 2015