January 17, (THEWILL) – The Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) has announced the 16-player squad that will represent the country at the 25th edition of the African Men’s Handball Championship in Cairo, Egypt.
Captain Obinna Patrick and five other foreign-based players, including Al Shamal of Doha goalkeeper, Oladunjoye Adamolugbe, will lead the team. The technical crew will be led by France-based coach Rafiu Salami and two assistant coaches. The team has been camping in Abuja for a month in preparation for the tournament, which runs from July 9 to 19, 2022.
HFN President, Sunday Ocheho, said the team is travelling to the tournament with the goal of picking one of the five tickets to the World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Poland and Sweden. However, Ocheho expressed disappointment in the lack of government investment in the development of the sport in Nigeria. He said neither the federal government nor the Ministry of Sports has invested in the Golden Arrows, as the senior men’s handball team is also known.
Meanwhile, head coach, Rafiu Salami, is optimistic about the team’s chances at the tournament, saying the players selected have worked hard enough to make it out of their group and aim to be among the first five teams to qualify for the World Cup.
Nigeria is drawn in Group C alongside Tunisia and Cape Verde and will play its first match against Tunisia on July 11 and Cape Verde on July 12.