The coach of Nigeria’s U-23 team Imama Amakapabo has revealed that his team cannot afford not to deliver the Tokyo 2020 Olympics tickets to Nigerians.
Defending Champions Nigeria will open their AFCON U-23 campaign Cote d’Ivoire at the Al Salam Stadium on Nov. 9 in Cairo, before taking on Zambia on Nov. 12 and South Africa on Nov. 15.
The forever Rangers International Coach said the technical crew and the players are aware of the importance of the tournament to Nigerians, before giving an assurance that the team will make the country proud.
“We know that there are three tickets available in Egypt, and also that every game is key. Every game is very important and we want to take it as seriously as we possibly can,’’ he said.
“In this regard, we want to ensure we maintain the status quo by getting the desired result to qualify, ” he said.
Amapakabo also said the technical crew is facing challenges of securing the release of foreign invited players for the tournament, as it does not fall within the FIFA-free window.
“Part of my responsibility is to find a way round any obstacle or challenge faced by the team.
“It is the big picture going forward, to try to put this team together in preparation for the big stage, because we knew that it was going to be a challenge for us to have some of these players.
“We are going to be having the FIFA windows and some of the clubs just want to release their players for just those open windows which is not going to be right for us.
“This is because the players in question will only be available to play maybe two games and that will be it. But we are trying to put in place a contingency plan.
“However, getting these players together to play as a unit and as a team can be a bit challenging sometimes, and it is my responsibility to find a way around the obstacle in front of me and I will try my best as much as possible to do so,’’ the coach said.