By John Egbokhan
â€¢Urges Amodu to field the best players
Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Engineer Sani Ndanusa has pricked the conscience of the Super Eagles to use Sundayâ€™s 2010 World Cup/Nations Cup qualifier against the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia, to exorcise the ghosts of their failure to reach the 2006 edition held in Germany.
Nigeria play Tunisia in a crucial match that would, to a large extent, determine which team out of the two get the bragging rights to hoist their flags at the biggest sporting showpiece holding next year in South Africa.
Having started off their campaign on a stuttering note against Mozambique in Maputo, the Nigerians, followed up with a win against Kenya, followed by a deserved goalless draw against Tunisia in Tunis, who they now welcome in the reverse fixture, that is generating so much intense permutations.
One of the key personae spurring the Super Eagles to victory is Ndanusa, who has added a new twist to the looming confrontation, when he spoke with SundayÂ Vanguard SportsÂ last Thursday.
â€œWe have an immense soccer tradition, which is going to be enhanced by the expected qualification of the national team for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the first ever soccer global tournament that is holding on an African soil.
â€œOur team cannot afford to miss out of the competition because the failure of not qualifying for the 2006 edition is still very much fresh in our memory and therefore, I am appealing to our team to use this match against Tunisia to banish the memory of that miss.
â€œMy earnest wish is for the team to play out their hearts and get the required victory because at a point like this in our life, we are in dire need of victories that would engender the patriotic spirit that is in every Nigerian soulâ€, added Ndanusa, who admonished Coach Shaibu Amodu to roll out the best players in his armoury for this potentially tricky match-up.
â€œAmodu is aware of the significance that this match holds for Nigerians and he cannot toy with our emotions because victory is what we want and that is what we would get and to make that possible, we must play with our best players, so that we can get the best result and be on course for the World Cupâ€, said Ndanusa, a member of the Presidential Task Force set up by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, to ensure that the Super Eagles qualify for the 2010 World Cup.