Friday, November 27, 2015 11:33 pm
Taiwo Adelu/ Sports Editor
Nigeria’s Dream Team VI will begin its quest for the Rio Olympics ticket in the Under-23 Nations Cup in Senegal on Sunday.
They will meet Mali at the Caroline Faye Stadium in Mbour on Sunday evening.
It is a match that Amaju Pinnick, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation the Nigerians must win to keep Rio Olympic hope alive.
Said Amaju on the NFF website: “Presently, we are on a roll of good results and we are determined that those must continue. It’s been an exciting past few months during which we have won U-17 World Cup, qualified for the U-20 Women’s World Cup and reached the group stage of the African series for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
“The NFF is backing Samson Siasia because he is always keen to succeed. He has brought new, exciting faces to the group and there is confidence all around again. The ticket to the Olympics is non –negotiable.”
Nigeria’s U-23 national team, Dream Team landed in Senegal Thursday, the last team to arrive.
The delegation of 21 players, 10 officials arrived the Leopold Senghor International Airport, Dakar at 1.00am local time Thursday aboard an Arik Airline flight and were received by the head of chancery Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Haruna Musa on behalf of the Ambassador.
After airport formalities, the team were immediately taken by road to M’bour, venue of their first two group games, and later arrived the hotel reserved for them, the Framissima Palm Beach at about 3.00 am local time.
The team held their first training session later on Thursday. Coach Samson Siasia and his Dream Team VI will begin their quest to qualify for the Rio Olympics when they take on West African rivals Mali on Sunday at the Caroline Faye Stadium, in Mbour.
With the arrival of Dream Team all the participating teams have now arrived Senegal as Nigeria were the last team to arrive.Meanwhile, CAF has announced the match officials for the opening matches of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations Senegal 2015 have been announced.
CAF said on its website that Moroccan Redouane Jiyed will be at the centre for the tournament opener between the hosts Senegal and South Africa, on Saturday, 28 November 2015 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium, Dakar.
Kick-off is at 15H00 GMT.
He will be assisted by Berhe O’Michael of Eritrea and Nigerien Yahaya Mahamadou with Cameroonian Antoine Effa Essouma as the fourth official, for the Group A clash.
The other Group A match between Zambia and Tunisia will have Burkinabe Juste Ephrem Zio directing affairs from the middle. Mozambican Arsenio Marengula and Sidiki Sidibe of Guinea are the Assistant Referees. Mehdi Abid Charef of Algeria is the fourth official.
Taiwo Adelu can be reached on Twitter :@taiwo007, Facebook :Taiwo Adelu, email :[email protected]