The Head Coach of Sand Super Eagles, Audu Ejo, on Friday said that 16 players had started camping in preparation for the 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup in The Bahamas.
Audu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the Badgry camp opened on April 12 with four players of the invited 22 not making the camp due to injurires.
NAN reports that the 2017 Beach Soccer World Cup which is the 9th edition, is scheduled to hold in Belarus, The Bahamas, from April 27 to May 7.
Nigeria which made its last appearance at the 2015 edition in Portugal and Senegal will represent Africa at the competition.
“We have 16 players in camp, as we speak, camping opened on Wednesday, and the players have shown so much skills and zeal.
“Four out of my boys could not make this trip as a result of injuries, sad as it is, we won’t allow that to disturb us; we are making the best of the situation,’’ he said.
Ejo also told NAN that as part of the team’s preparation, two players and some officials had yet to secure their American Visas.
“Fourteen players were given their visas on Tuesday, remaining two, and some of our officials but I’m positive that they will be given by next week.
“We need to have that sorted so that we can focus on training, without that distraction,’’ he said.
NAN reports that camping ought to have opened on March 30 but it was postponed due to logistics.
Asked if late camping will not affect their chances, Ejo told NAN they would do the best they could considering the situation.
“Late camping has always been a recurring thing in the history of Sand Super Eagles, but somehow, we have always managed it and rise above that.
“We know it’s always tough for us, but there is little or nothing we can do,’’ Ejo said.
Nigeria will be playing in the preliminaries of the competition in Group alongside Iraq, Iran and Mexico.
France won the first FIFA sanctioned tournament in 2005. Brazil and Portugal are the only teams to win the world championship before and after FIFA started sanctioning the sport.
Overall, 17 of the 42 nations who have ever competed made a top four finish.
Brazil remains the only nation to win the title 13 times and finish in the final four of every championship until 2015 when they finished in the fifth place. (NAN)