Nigeria’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad arrived and settled down at the Avita Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria yesterday evening, as Coach Gernot Rohr and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) intensified the final phase of preparation for the team on all fronts.
Earlier yesterday, Rohr dropped defender Ola Aina and midfielder Mikel Agu from the 25 men in camp, to make a final list of 23 players 24 hours ahead of FIFA’s given deadline.
An all-executive-seat chartered jet flew the Super Eagles delegation, led by the NFF 2nd Vice President/Chairman of Strategy Committee, Mallam Shehu Dikko, to the Austrian capital (Vienna), and the group then proceeded by road to Bad Tatzmannsdorf.
On Wednesday, the Eagles will travel the short distance back to Vienna, where they take on the Czech Republic at the Rudolf Tonn Stadium in the three-time African champions’ final pre-World Cup friendly.
Apart from the 23 players, Technical Adviser Rohr has some company in camp, assistant coaches Salisu Yusuf, Jean-Luc Royer, Imama Amapakabo, Alloy Agu, Enrico Pionetti and Bernard Gines. There are also Dayo Enebi Achor (Team Administrator), Ibrahim Gyaran (Team Doctor), Hassan Suleiman (Physiotherapist), Pascal Patrick (Team Coordinator) and Toyin Ibitoye (Media Officer)
It would be recalled that the Embassy of Austria in Nigeria last week denied the lead physiotherapist Nnaemeka Anozie and Equipment Manager, Chidi Ngoka entry visas into that country, thereby depleting the backroom staff.
However, the Nigeria Football Federation has approached the Embassy of Austria in London with fresh applications for Ngoka and Anozie, and there is hope they could join the team in a couple of days.