Former U-17 World Cup-winning captain, Kelechi Nwakali, will be stand-in captain for the national U-23 team against Ivory Coast on Saturday in their U-23 Africa Cup of Nations Group B opener.
The spokesperson for the Nigeria Football Federation, Ademola Olajire, said this in a statement on Thursday.
Nwakali will lead the team in absence of the substantive captain Azubuike Okechukwu, who is on club duty with Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir.
The West African derby will unfold at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo – the same venue where the Super Eagles picked up the bronze medal of the 32nd AFCON after pipping Tunisia 1-0 in July as from 2pm in Nigeria.
The statement read in part, “Coach Imama Amapakabo has been able to welcome the majority of his listed overseas-based professionals, and with the complement of glory-hungry home-based professionals, expects to brush aside the challenge of the Ivorians, Zambia and South Africa in the group phase.
“The Nigeria U-23 contingent spent six days in Ismailia fine-tuning preparations for the finals before arriving in Cairo on Wednesday, where they are staying at the Novotel Hotel and Resorts.”