Amapakabo Admits Facing Age Restriction Hurdles

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Olympic Eagles coach, Imama Amapakabo has admitted he is facing hurdles over age issues in his team building efforts for next week’s Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier away to Libya.

Heading into the midweek fixture billed to hold in Tunisia, since Libya cannot host matches in their country, Amapakabo says he has been forced to keep altering his squad due to age issues affecting the players.

Footballlive.ng, however, learnt that the former international youth goalkeeper is now banking mostly on foreign-based players to step in and salvage the situation for him.

Amapalabo, who made marks coaching in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with Rangers International of Enugu and El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, has already extended invitations to several prominent young foreign-based players aged under-23.

Among the lot are Tosin Kehinde from CD Feriense of Portugal, Kelechi Nwakali from FC Porto of Portugal, and the last squad’s initial captain, Azuibike Okechukwu, who now plays for Caykur Rizespor of Turkey.

The ‘Dream Team 7’ gaffer is now enthusiastic that he will be able to get a better picture of the squad he will,line out against Libya once the lads based in Europe start reporting to his camp from this weekend.

Amapakabo revealed Tuesday on a radio programme monitored in Lagos by footballlive.ng: “We are still having problems with age restrictions.

“That has caused us to keep changing the team. A lot of players have age discrepancies.
“When you try to reconcile their age with what is on the passport, there is no uniformity in data.

“We have to look at players that came through the ranks to see how to put a team together.
“By the time the whole players from abroad arrive, we will have a clearer picture of our squad and, in the end, we should be able to put together a solid team.”

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