Players and officials of the Beach Soccer National Team, Super Sand Eagles, will jet out of the country on Friday to Paraguay for this year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup finals.
The two –time African champions picked a ticket for the 10 edition of the global finals after finishing second behind Senegal at the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations staged in Egypt in December last year.
This year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup will hold 21 November – 1 December in Asuncion, capital of Paraguay. Match venue is the ‘Los Pynandi’ World Cup Stadium, named after the Paraguayan national beach soccer team and located at the headquarters of the Paraguayan Olympic Committee in Greater Asuncion.
“We are travelling early to Asuncion in order to participate in an eight-nation pre-competition tournament that will take place in Asuncion, 12 – 16 November. After the tournament, the team will continue intensive training ahead of our first match against Portugal on 22 November,” Team Administrator, Sunday Okayi, told thenff.com.
The pre-competition tournament will involve Oman, Tahiti, Paraguay, Nigeria, Belarus, United Arab Emirates, Senegal and one other team to be confirmed.
Nigeria, winners of the African title in 2007 and 2009, and quarter –finalists at the World Cup in 2007 and 2011, have a mountain to surmount in Group B against Brazil (ranked world number one), Portugal (ranked world number two) and Oman (ranked number 14 in the world). Nigeria is ranked 21 in the world.
Host nation Paraguay will tackle Japan in the tournament opening game on 21 November. After their first game against Portugal on 22 November, the Super Sand Eagles take to the beach against Oman on 24 November and then against Brazil two days later.
Head Coach Audu Adamu ‘Ejo’ has listed veterans Abu Azeez and Victor Tale in his final squad of 12, with Emmanuel Ohwoferia, Emeka Ogbonna, Godspower Igudia, Dami Paul and Taiwo Adams also in.
Godwin Tale (Victor’s younger brother), Egan-Osi Ekujimi, Babatunde Badmus, Godwin Iorbee and Hameed Kareem are the other names on the list.
2019 FIFA BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP GROUPS
Group A: Paraguay, Japan, Switzerland, USA
Group B: Uruguay, Mexico, Italy, Tahiti
Group C: Belarus, United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Russia
Group D: Brazil, Oman, Portugal, Nigeria