Abuja – The Nigeria Football Association, NFA says it is doing “everything humanly possible’’ to ensure the Super Eagles win their 2011 African Nations Cup qualifying match against Ethiopia on March 27.
The match is billed for the National Stadium, Abuja, away from Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos, where the Eagles were booed by the spectators during their friendly game against Sierra
Leone on Feb. 9.
The game, which the Eagles won 2-1, was the first to be handled by the Samson Siasia, who was named the team’s new coach last year.
Chris Green, the Chairman, NFA Technical Committee, said in Abuja that the association was determined to ensure victory for the Eagles and put a smile on the faces of Nigerians.
“It will be the team’s first competitive game since Siasia took over, and we are doing everything we can to ensure victory.
“We know the Ethiopians are good; they were in the semi-finals of the recent CECAFA (Central Africa sub-region) competition and they are a serious team, but I am sure we have all it takes to beat them,’’ he said.
Green explained that the friendly match with Sierra Leone was taken to Abuja not because of the booing which the Eagles received in Lagos but because of the nature of the pitch.
He said the team’s coaches and players were unanimous in their desire to play their matches in Nigeria on a pitch fitted with natural grass and not artificial grass.
“The reason for the team’s return to Abuja for the Ethiopian match is not the issue of the booing received from the crowd at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, but the nature of the pitch,’’ he said.
The technical committee chairman, however, appealed to football fans not to see booing as a way of expressing their disappointment with the Super Eagles.
“Booing is not good, even though we will concede it is part of the game. It is even right that fans want to show their discontent or displeasure, and the team has to live with that.
“But it discourages a team, especially when it is a young team like ours. We need to keep on encouraging the team, no matter what.
“It is the only senior national team we have, and Nigerians should always come out to support the team and the players,’’ he said.