By Amaechi Agbo
Nigeria’s Supersand Eagles will not be in action when the qualifying race for the 2021 Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations will begin in March.
This is because the Nigeria has been excluded from the tournament billed to hold in Senegal.
The development is coming on the heels of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF’s refusal to register the Supersand Eagles for the event before the closure of CAF registration deadline set for January 2021.
The NFF’s decision comes as no surprise after the country’s football body disbanded the team and resolved that they would no longer participate in beach soccer tournaments indefinitely in 2019.
The disbandment was made by the NFF after the Annual General Assembly in Benin, Edo State on December 17, 2019 due to the team’s poor outing at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay.
In the statement, “The NFF unanimously resolved to put on hold Nigeria’s participation in international beach soccer tournaments until such a time that certain benchmarks, most importantly the creation and sustenance of a beach soccer league in the country, are met.”
However, a five-man committee headed by chairman of the Organizing Committee, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi and including Mallam Shehu Dikko, Alhaji Ahmed Yusuf, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu and Dr. Mohammed Sanusi was put in place to determine the modalities and guidelines, and to encourage states wishing to launch full-steam beach soccer leagues and compete among themselves or internationally.
On Thursday, CAF announced the approved fixtures for the upcoming qualifiers of the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal 2020, with Nigeria missing due to failure to enter the competition.
In the draw, Libya face Morocco, Seychelles battle Madagascar, Comoros tackle Mozambique, while Burundi take on Tanzania and Uganda clash with Ghana as DR Congo meet Cote d’Ivoire.
Six winners from the two-legged qualifiers are expected to join Egypt and host nation Senegal in the final tournament scheduled to will take place from May 23 to 29, 2021 in Senegal.
With Nigeria exception, the Supersand Eagles, who are the joint-third most appearing side on nine will miss their 10th outing this term and also miss participating for the third time in a row at the World Cup.
The first leg of the qualifiers will commence on 26/27 March and the return match will be played on 9/10 April, 2021.
The eight-team final tournament will take place from May 23 to 29, 2021 in Senegal.