Seychelles' football team faces Nigeria in low-stakes AFCON match
The Seychelles national team is in full preparation for the Indian Ocean Islands Games coming up in July in Mauritius. (Photo from archives -- Joena Meme)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' men’s football side will face Nigeria on Friday in its last qualification match of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019.
As Seychelles is no longer a contender for the finals, the team is in full preparation for the Indian Ocean Islands Games coming up in July in Mauritius.
Before proceeding to Nigeria for their final Group E match against the Super Eagles, who have already qualified, the Seychelles’ Pirates went on a training camp in Ethiopia. The match will start at 7 p.m. Seychelles' time at the Stephen Keshi stadium in Asaba, Delta state.
Speaking to SNA on Tuesday, the Secretary-General of the Seychelles Football Federation, George Bibi, said the fact that the local football season has changed meant the team could leave early for the training camp.
“Our season has changed and our national players are not in training with their local clubs, so the team left early to have some friendly matches in preparation for the Indian Ocean Games. It will also help in the game against Nigeria,” said Bibi.
Talking about the change in the Seychelles football season, Bibi said, “Since last year CAF (Confederation of African Football) in its meeting in Morocco said it is thinking of changing the football season to be in line with the European season in view of the many African players in European clubs.”
In Europe, the domestic season generally begins in August/September and ends in May.
Bibi said that change will be better for the Seychelles football teams.
“This will be good for us because we often have a hard time getting venues during June with all the various activities so with the change we will be offseason. When the African season starts our teams will already be playing in the local competitions so players will be in good physical shape,” he added.
Aside from Nigeria, the Seychelles' side has other competitions lined up before the 10th edition of the Indian Ocean Islands Games scheduled to take place in Mauritius from July 19 to 28.
The under-23 side will participate in the qualifiers of the Total African Nations Championship (Chan) Ethiopia 2020 against the Zebras of Botswana in the weekend of April 19-21 in the southern zone.
Seychelles will play the Zebras of Botswana away on the weekend of April 19-21 in the southern zone first leg round one of the qualifiers of the Total African Nations Championship (Chan) Ethiopia 2020. The return leg match will be played at Stad Linite on the weekend of May 10-12.