Nigeria’s deaf football team known as Deaf Eagles on Thursday departed the country aboard Africa World Airline (AWA) for the 8th West Africa Deaf Football Union (WADFU) tournament in Sierra Leone.
Amuda Ibrahim, Director, Nigeria Deaf Sports Union (NDSU) said the contingent comprised of 15 players and one official left from Murtalla Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
Nigeria alongside host Sierra Leone, Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso would feature in the WADFU tournament holding in Freetown from Sept. 27 to Oct. 6.
“The first batch of players comprised of 15 players and national coach Banjo Kamiludeen left this morning through the Lagos international airport for the deaf football tournament taking place in Sierra Leone.
“It’s a thing of joy that at last the Deaf Eagles are able to make it to the tournament because the challenges encountered in the whole thing was much,” he said.
The players as Ishode Nelson, Uzoma Victor, Adamu Sulaiman, Bulus Emmanuel, Adaola Adegoke, Oluwafemi Solomon, Uchechi Chinonye, Ezeama Chukwudi, Joel Somidah, Charles Jonah, Bello Shuaibu, Oyelekan Amousa, Olatunji Samson, Yakubu Ahamadu and Yau Elsaleh.
According to him, the remaining three players who could secure seats would join the others on Friday, adding, “we were able to capture only sixteen space in the flight,”.
Meanwhile, Kamiludeen, national coach of the Nigeria Deaf Football Association (NDFA) said that the players have trained well and were in good shape for a victorious outing in the tournament.
He said that necessary preparations were thoroughly observed and that the boys were happy to go fly the country’s flag and lift the tournament trophy to book a place in Africa Nation’s Cup.
“We are battle ready, the boys are excited that they are going represent their country Nigeria and we are assuring the nation that we will deliver two in one victory.
“The tournament is also qualifications event for the Africa Deaf Nation’s Cup, so our target is to lift this tournament trophy which will guarantee us qualification ticket for the Africa Cup,” he added.
Nigeria Deaf Eagles ranked number one by WADFU have made five outings in the annual tournament and were three times champions and two times runners up.