Nigeria Amputee Football Federation (NAFF) has named Turkey-based Olalekan Sarafadeen and Austin Ugwu as the team’s new Captain and Assistant Captain of the Special Eagles for the forthcoming Cup of Africa Nation for Amputee Football (CANAF).
The NAFF national coach, Victor Nwenwe, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Sarafadeen would replace Emmanuel Ibeawuchi, the longest served captain of the team.
He said there was need to rebuild the national team to have a formidable team for CANAF holding in Luanda, Angola, from Oct. 1 to Oct. 16.
“We are in camp preparing for 2019 CANAF, so there is need to rebuild the national team, and reshuffle the captainship position which we just did.
“Ibeawuchi is one of the pioneer footballers and he did well as the longest serving captain of the national team, but we have appointed Sarafadeen as the new captain, while Ugwu will assist him.
“It is a unanimous board decision and the footballers are equally aware of the challenges which are necessary at a time like this that we have a major tournament,” he said.
The coach noted that the Special Eagles national team would surpass its performance in 2013 edition, where Nigeria finished 4th in the tournament held in Kenya.
Pius Asaba, the Acting Technical Director of NAFF, told NAN that Sarafadeen was part of Nigeria’s national team to CANAF tournaments held in Liberia, Ghana, Kenya and 2018 Amputee World Cup, Mexico.
Asaba gave names of other members of the national team as Sunday Setonji-Ogunbiyi, Kennedy Ezeji, Chimobi Michael, Mohammed Grema, Ibrahim Ndako, Kelvin Kingsley, Olayemi Ogidan and Blessing Agu (Goalkeeper).
“This team has more experienced players, even the two new ones that joined them have been in the ongoing national camp keyed into the tournament programme,” he added.
He said that the Special Eagles would be making its 4th outing in the Federation of Africa Amputee Football (FAAF) organised tournament which would feature eight countries on the continent.
According to him, the body has proposed Sept. 30 as departures date for the contingent, as their presence would confirm their registration and participation in the competition.
NAN reports that the 15-day continental tournament would be used as qualifies for the 2020 Amputee World Cup. (NAN)