By John Egbokhan
Former Bafana BafanaÂ striker, Shaun Bartlett, has said that he would be shocked to his bones should the Super Eagles miss out on a place at the 2010 World Cup holding in South Africa.|
After failing to reach the 2006 finals in Germany, Nigeria are desperately trying to avert another successive football miss as the Eagles trail Tunisia on the log with two points and need to conjure up three important wins to seal their place in the first World Cup tournament to hold on the African continent.
It would all come down to beating Tunisia in a September 6 titanic duel at the Abuja National Stadium, followed by another home fixture against Mozambique on October 10 and an away tie against Kenya on November 14.
These are the key dates that Nigeria must keep with destiny and Bartlett, a 1996 Nations Cup winner, feels that it would be a big miss should the Eagles fail to actualise this dream.
â€œThis is Africaâ€™s World Cup, the first to come to us and we expect to see the big teams, like the Super Eagles, on parade because they are one of the top teams that we have and we need all our quality stars to be on show for a successful outing by Africa teamsâ€, Bartlett, said at the weekend in Lagos, venue ofÂ a novelty match between the Super Eagles squad of 1994 and the African Legends.
He added that â€œI would be shocked should Nigeria not book a place at the 2010 World Cup in my country. You guys have the players and we expect them to put their acts in order because missing out of the World Cup is one massive minus for any country serious about developing soccerâ€.
Speaking on his countryâ€™s preparations for the hosting of the tournament, Bartlett said that â€œwe are really excited about this project and as Africans we want to show the world that we can do it, that good things can come out of Africa and it is one experience that would change a lot of things for good for all of usâ€.