Special Eagles seek adequate preparation ahead of Amputee World Cup
Nigeria would have to intensify its preparations for the upcoming World Cup because of the quality of teams in its group, says, Ugochukwu Obieze, Athletes Representative, Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAFF).
Obieze told the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday that the World Cup, holding from Oct. 24 to Nov. 5 in Mexico, has Russia, Brazil, El-Salvador and Nigeria in Group E.
He added that the national team fondly called “Special Eagles” ought to be in closed camp by now to put finishing touches to their preparations for the 2018 World Amputee Football Federation (WAFF) competition.
“Our training has been in progress since the new board cleared the outstanding affiliation fee and that restored our hope and participation in WAFF programs of which this World Cup is part of.
“The match fixtures have sent a warning signal that there is need for us to fortify our team with adequate preparations because Russia, the defending champions of the 2014 edition is in our group.
“So, now that the event is fast approaching, we need to resume national camp as soon as possible to enable us concentrate and get focused in order to excel in the group,” he said.
The athletes’ representative described Nigeria’s participation in the forthcoming football tournament as a long awaited objective, adding that it was a first appearance for the special Eagles national team.
According to him, lack of sponsors, inability to secure visas, and irregular participation in intercontinental tournaments has denied the nation participation in the tournament since its inception.
“The opportunity and dream to fly Nigeria’s flag in the amputee World Cup has finally come, and we are doing everything possible to have a remarkable outing by bringing the trophy home,” he added.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 24 affiliated countries of WAFF will participate in the tournament which Russia won in 2014 in Argentina.
Amputee football is a sport for the disabled which involves seven footballers, six outfield players who have extreme amputation, while goalkeepers have upper extremity amputation and uses loft strands and crutches to play.
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