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Ekpo: Siasia Should Focus On Home-based Players For U23 AFCON

By Izuchukwu Okosi:

Former Super Eagles midfielder Friday Ekpo is of the opinion that national U23 Eagles coach Samson Siasia should focus on working with home-based players for the forthcoming CAF U23 Cup of Nations which serves as qualifiers to the football event of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero,‎ Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

Siasia has released a provisional squad for the U23 Nations Cup which begins in Senegal this month amid his public spat with the Nigeria Football Federation over unpaid allowances.

Ekpo who was Siasia's teammate at the 1992 Africa Cup of Nations in Senegal spoke to Completesportsnigeria.com on the chances of the Dream Team VI to pick of the tickets to represent Africa at the Games.

"The U23 Championship will begin soon and as much we pay attention to other national assignments, we must also not forget the importance of the U23 team doing well in Senegal.

"All hands must be on deck to ensure the team succeeds. And I feel Samson Siasia will do well i concentrating on working with most of the players that prosecuted the All Africa Games in DR Congo because the U23 Cup of Nations is not on FIFA calendar, so it will be difficult convincing European teams to release their Nigerian players.

"The U23 team did not qualify for the football event of the last Olympics and that is not what we want to see. We must avoid the errors that led to that disappointment," Ekpo told Completesportsnigeria.com.

The 2015 CAF U23 Cup of Nations will hold November 28 to December 12.

Nigeria will play in Group B alongside Egypt, Algeria and Mali.

The Dream Team VI will play their first two games at the competition against Mali and Egypt at the Stade Caroline Faye in M'Bour and Algeria in their last group game against Algeria at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar.

Group A contains hosts; Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia and Zambia.

The top three teams will qualify for the football event of the 2016 Olympics.

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