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Super Eagles And AFCON 2019

Super Eagles And AFCON 2019

SUPER Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr has  released a 35-man provisional squad for the coming AFCON 2019 hosting in Egypt next month. The release of players for the bi-annual tournament  has shown the country’s readiness  to compete with the giants of Africa soccer at the Mundial this coming month.

Given the superlative performance of many of the invited players  mostly foreign based at international scenes, expectations are high that the team would make the country proud at the tournament.

THE Nigeria Football Federation, NFF has also notably taken some  steps to make the outing a successful one. Series of international friendlies had been organised to strengthen the team and a  friendly with Senegal is still expected before the commencement of the football fiesta.

NIGERIA,  in group B, will  slug it out with Madagascar, Guinea and Burundi. It should not be difficult for the  Super Eagles in this group, but should be weary  of Banana peel, for they  are no longer  push over in African football.

IT’S  therefore glaring that the support from NFF for the team has  been encouraging. Of particular interest is the announcement by the NFF that all coaches for the Super Eagles team have been paid their salaries up to date, while outstanding bonuses  of players have been settled too.

AS we therefore approach the biggest football fiesta in Africa, we urge the NFF to streamline all provisions for the players/officials’ accommodation, match allowances and bonuses to ensure that the mistakes of past appearances are not repeated.

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MOST countries going for the tournament have announced allowance/match bonuses for their players, Nigeria too should join the queue  by making public what the players will get from the preliminary stage to the final of the tournament. This  will galvanise them to put in their best.

NIGERIA must use the AFCON football fiesta to strengthen the country’s unity which had come under strains of political divisions due to the just concluded election.  This is against the backdrop that soccer has over the years, remained the only passion that brings all Nigerians together as one, irrespective of religion, tribe or position in society.

IT is gratifying that the NFF had signed a partnership deal with Coca-Cola for the Super Eagles, and other national teams. The pact, which is said to be worth N1.4 billion ($4 million), is for a five-year period. Therefore money issue should not be a problem in the coming tournament.With the money coming from Confederation of Africa Football, CAF, and the one to be added by the federal government, NFF should have enough to prosecute the tournament.

IT is expedient that the bulk of the money should be judiciously spent on the players and coaches, and not on frivolities  and those without mission at the tournament.  This should not be allowed to happen this time around.

THE Hope also warn against undue interference by government officials and the NFF, who in the past had denied the players of their entitlements. We recall,  instances in the last world cup outing where the players lost concentration at the group stages because their match allowances were compromised. There had been instances where players jerseys and training materials were left behind in Nigeria, foreign officials to make do with track suits and emergency outfits.

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ALL materials needed for the tournament must be made available for the use of the players.

In the circumstance, the presidency should designate an official whom Nigerians would hold accountable for any undue shortcoming during the Mundial.

Since the buck stops on Coach Gohr’s table, the NFF, and by extension other government officials must give him a free hand in the use  of players. The mistakes of the past where players were imposed on the coach in the name of quota system should never repeat itself.

TO the players, they must exhibit high sense of discipline and be patriotic in this assignment. They should be focused and know that winning the diadem would not only boost their morale, it would also increase their worth at  the international market since the tournament’s period is the time for foreign teams to scour for creative talents,  players.

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Super Eagles And AFCON 2019

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