By David Meshioye:
Nigeria U-23s coach Samson Siasia says safety and love for visitors actually necessitated his choice of Gambia as training camp ahead of the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations billed for Senegal later this month.
Fielding questions from reporters on arrival at the Banjul International Airport Siasia posited that his choice of Gambia may not be unconnected with its geographical location, which positions it close to Senegal, but its ability to provide serene and peaceful environment, which aids close camping.
“I hear that this place is very safe and Nigerians are very happy here,” Siasia said. “So we hope to stay here for at least twelve days to train and probably play test matches. Our objective is to get ready hoping that we can go to Senegal and get the qualification to represent Africa at the Olympics.”
Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Gambia Football Federation, Abass Bah, welcomed the team and officials on behelf the GFF saying that the GFF is delighted to receive the Nigerian team and assured them of his office’s assistance whenever needed.
The GFF technical director Ebrima Manneh also assured the Nigerians of all technical assistance they may need in the training and expressed hope that if required the GFF would always be available to meet the needs of the visitors including, when requested, friendly matches.
The U-23 AFCON which starts on November 28 and ends on December 12 is the African qualifier for the Rio Olympic football tournament.