The Olympics Eagles Head Coach Imama Amapakabo Thursday led technical officials and 21 players out of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for Egypt ahead of the U-23 AFCON tournament which is also a qualifying tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The tournament will kick off on November 8, the Olympics Eagles are the defending champions and winners of the 1996 Olympics, all eyes will be on the team to defend their title and clinch a spot in the Tokyo Olympics.
Blueprint Sport check at the camp of the team before they left on Thursday revealed that the team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, hotshot Taiwo Awoniyi and Sunday Faleye will join the team in Egypt from their various base.
Meanwhile, Coach Imama Amapakabo, has named team captain Azubuike Okechukwu, defenders Anthony Izuchukwu, Sincere Seth and Olisah Ndah, midfielders Kelechi Nwakali, Muyiwa Olabiran and Ndifreke Effiong, and forwards Taiwo Awoniyi and Orji Okwonkwo in his final list of 21 players to defend the U23 Africa Cup of Nations title in Egypt next month.
Nigeria, champions of the second edition of the competition in Senegal four years ago, will seek to retain their title when the third edition of the championship flags off in Cairo on 8th November.
The Olympic Eagles are housed in Group B and will contend with Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and South Africa in that order at the Al Salam Stadium. Hosts Egypt head Group A that also has Ghana, Cameroon and Mali with matches to hold at the Cairo International Stadium.
Nigeria’s first match of the campaign is against Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 9th November.
The top three teams at the eight –nation finals will qualify to represent Africa in the Men’s Football Tournament of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Amapakabo also picked goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar, defender Josiah Chukwudi, and lively attacking midfielders Ndifreke Effiong, Tom Dele-Bashiru and Sunusi Ibrahim.