Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will camp in Morocco instead of Spain ahead of next month’s Africa U-20 Cup of Nations on 7th February.
A training camp for the country’s youth team has become paramount because they need to acclimatise to the wintry weather conditions in Egypt.
The 2023 U-20 AFCON will be played in Egypt between 19th February and 11th March. Twelve teams will compete with the top four qualifying to represent the continent in the U-20 FIFA World Cup in Indonesia in May.
“The team will train in Morocco, which has similar weather with Egypt, which at the moment is very cold and the team needs to get used to this in time for the tournament”, a team official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
“The logistical challenges like getting visas into Spain for a large contingent and in record time also worked against the Flying Eagles preparing there.
“Egypt was also considered a suitable training site for the Flying Eagles, but that was dropped after the team was drawn in the first round with the host nation”.
The Flying Eagles are expected to depart for Morocco at the end of the month after coach Ladan Bosso would have submitted his final 21-man squad to the Confederation of African Football latest 20th January for the tournament.
Nigeria is drawn in Group A with hosts Egypt, Senegal, and Mozambique in the first round of the continental tourney.
Group B has Uganda, Central African Republic, Congo Republic and South Sudan, while in Group C are The Gambia, Tunisia, Benin Republic and Zambia.
Ghana, winners of the last edition in 2021 in Mauritania, failed to qualify this time.
Nigeria are the record winners of the continental tournament with seven titles, followed by Ghana and Egypt (four each), while Cameroon, Mali, Zambia, Algeria, Morocco, Angola and Congo Republic emerged champions only once each.