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Idris Razaq rues Nigeria U23 AFCON absence

Flying Eagles and Olympic Eagles invitee, Idris Razaq Abiodun, has expressed his disappointment over Nigeria’s absence from the ongoing TotalEnergies U23 AFCON championship in Morocco.

Abiodun, who was part of the preparatory process for the U23 AFCON qualifiers before Nigeria was knocked out by Guinea, spoke to the media, stating that it is emotionally devastating to watch the games without Nigeria’s involvement.

The AFCON championship, which began on June 24, will see eight teams battling for honours, with only the top three securing qualification for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

Abiodun, a resilient central defender who plays for Clique Sports Academy FC in Lagos, expressed regret that the Olympic Eagles couldn’t overcome Guinea in the AFCON qualifiers, despite the talented array of stars in the team.

“I feel bad and sad watching the AFCON on TV from home because we didn’t get to qualify,” he said. “We had a talented group of players in that team, but unfortunately, we couldn’t secure the victory we needed to qualify away from home.”

“Some of the foreign-based players were entrusted with the task of getting us the qualification ticket instead of those here in Nigeria who may have adapted better to the weather in Africa and could have performed better. But, nonetheless, I believe luck was not on our side.”

Idris expressed his gratitude to the head coach of the team, Salisu Yusuf, for giving him the opportunity to be part of the team and for the fatherly role he played in making the camp lively and habitable.

He also mentioned his enjoyable moments, particularly his working relationship and partnership with Daniel Bameyi, who captained Nigeria in the recently concluded FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina.

When it comes to role models, Idris listed Liverpool’s Vigil Van Dijk, former Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly, and former Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos as his inspirations.

Source: Nigerian Tribune