By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Kingsley Sokari believes the proposed friendly between Nigeria’s U-23 national team and Brazil’s U-23 side will be a good preparation for the Nigerian team ahead of the CAF U-23 Cup of Nations billed for Senegal.
The Nigeria Football Federation are reportedly in talks with their Brazilian counterparts for the high-profile friendly.
U-23 Eagles midfielder Sokari while speaking with Completesportsnigeria.com underlines the benefits of playing the South Americans before the CAF U-23 Nations Cup to be hosted by Senegal between 28 November and 12 December, 2015.
“A friendly against Brazil will be a good test for us,” the Enyimba star told Completesportsnigeria.com. “Yes, we are yet to negotiate through the qualifying games for the Olympics but it will be a confidence booster for the team before we travel to Senegal.
“We’re talking about Brazil and for us to play them in a friendly even before the U-23 Nations Cup begins shows the NFF mean well for the team. It kind of gives the feeling that we are likely to play against them in Rio next year.
“The All Africa Games didn’t go as we expected because we wanted to win the gold medal but we understand the U-23 AFCON will be a tougher tournament. Every team, every player wants to be at the Olympics.”
The U-23 Eagles will play in Group B of the U-23 AFCON alongside Egypt, Algeria and Mali.
Samson Siasia’s team will begin their quest for an Olympics ticket with a game against Mali on November 29 at the Stade Caroline Faye Stadium, M’Bour and Egypt at the same venue on December 2.
They will round off their group games with a game against Algeria at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor in Dakar on December 5.
The Nigerian U-23 coach Siasia has played against a Brazilian national side before, though at the U-20 level, during the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Holland, a group match which ended goalless.