Sunday, November 15, 2015 6:21 pm
Taiwo Adelu/ sports editor
Nigerian U-23 team, also known as the Dream Team and the coaches including Samson Siasia escaped death in Ghana Sunday morning when their plane developed technical faults on the air and made emergency landing.
The team were on their way to The Gambia where they are expected to hold a 10-day pre-Africa U-23 Cup of Nations camping. The tournament, an African qualifying championship for the football event of the Rio 2016 Olympics, will hold in Senegal later this month.
Report on the website of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, says though the team had eventually landed at their destination Sunday evening, they experienced near-death situation before they could get to The Gambia.
It was gathered that the ARIK Air aircraft conveying the team from Lagos lost a tyre on landing at the Kotoka International Airport, Accra. The airplane that was on ground in Accra was then deployed for the purpose of flying the team to The Gambia, but that also lost an engine on take –off and the pilot had to make a quick return.
ARIK, however, provided another aircraft that flew the delegation to The Gambia through Dakar.
Meanwhile, Coach Siasia has wielded the big stick by dropping Kingsley Sokari, Nzube Anaezemba and Daniel Etor for what he termed indiscipline.
Siasia said the players were sent packing after they requested to leave the camp to go for their Club’s (Enyimba) last NPFL game of the season against Sunshine Stars in Lagos, even after he (Siasia) had told all the players they could not leave camp.
“I feel bad in taking this decision, but discipline must be maintained for us to achieve success in Senegal. All players in camp were told not to leave camp as the team would be traveling this weekend to The Gambia for pre –Championship training, only for these three players to come and ask to be allowed to go play for their club as they wanted to be part of the victory parade. I had no option but to allow them leave and also in the process, leave them out of the team.”