Olympic Eagles Vow To Boycott U-23 AFCON Match Against Ivory Coast On Saturday
By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria national U-23, also know as Olympic Eagles have vowed to boycott their Saturday’s group B opener of the 3rd edition of U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON in Egypt against Ivory Coast on Saturday, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can authoritatively confirm.
The Imama Amakpakabo -led guys are determined to give the Ivorians the the three points at stake on plater as protest for their backlog of unpaid allowances and match entitlements.
Insiders in the team camp in Egypt reliably told this paper that the players and officials are owned backlog of entitlements right from when they were in camp as well as the two home and away qualifying matches against Libya and Sudan two months ago.
The sources said that it is “anger and gloom and might lead to doom in the camp” as players have boycotted trainings in order to press home their demands.
“They have not been paid their match bonuses in the home and away matches against Libya and Sudan during the qualifiers for the U-23 African Nations Cup.
“The coaches as well as the players have not received a dime since the beginning of their camping in Abuja few weeks ago.
“The players had some days now refused to train but the chief coach and his technical crew pleaded to them. There is anger and gloom in the camp and if care is not taken it could lead to doom.
“Ordinarily, this information should not come out but there is no option now than for the players to cry out. We all know what is at stake.
“With the Super Falcons who are out of the race, there are increasing pressure on the team and this situation is an unwelcomed distraction,” one of the sources, who craved confidentiality, told our correspondent.
It could be recalled that the Super Falcons on October 7, 2019 failed to progress to the last qualifying stage of the 2020 Olympics after they were bundled out by Ivory Coast ladies.
The 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations will be the third edition of the tournament, the quadrennial international age-restricted football championship organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) for the men’s under-23 national teams of Africa.
The tournament will determine which three African teams will compete at the 2020 summer Olympics men’s football tournament in Japan. The three best placed teams 1 to 3 will represent Africa at the Tokyo Olympics
In four participations at the Olympic games, the team won gold in Atlanta 1996, silver in Beijing 2008 and bronze in Rio 2016.
Nigeria are the defending champions and are scheduled to face Ivory Coast in their first group B match on Saturday at 4:00 pm.
The tournament kicks off Friday with the host, Egypt tackling Mali at 6:00 pm (Nigerian time).