The Nigeria Football Federation rose from an emergency meeting with the technical crew of the Super Eagles yesterday at their Stay Rest hotel demanding a credible performance from Stephen Keshi and his wards when they play defending Champions Zambia on Friday.
The Eagles allowed Burkina Faso to cancel a 1-0 lead with few seconds to the end of their first match of the Afcon championships here in Mbombela, Nelspruit in South Africa.
Led by President Aminu Maigari and his foot soldiers, the board members concealed their anger but pointed out their observations from the match to the technical crew which also promised to up the ante against Zambia which also played out a 1-1 draw with surprise team Ethiopia. Moments after the meeting, Sylvanus Okpalla, Ike Shorunmu emerged from the meeting with sealed lips from probing journalists who kept vigil at the hotel lobby.
When Keshi finally came out, the horde of media men swarmed on him but he was his usual self beaming smiles and parting guys without uttering a word. Leader of delegation, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu diplomatically parried questions noting that they crosschecked ideas with the coaches.
“It is a normal thing to review matches and ask questions and get answers”, he said. Chief Mike Umeh led Keshi to a waiting bus that ferried the coaches back to their hotel.
However, Maigari said that it was important to keep them on track to give Nigerians a credible performance against Zambia. “There is no pressure from anywhere. We are happy with the performance of the boys and want them to remain focused. Nothing has gone wrong in the group. They are all at par”, he said.
Chairman of House Committee on Sports, Hon. Godfrey Gaiya was also seen at the lobby of the hotel and laughed and wished the team well in their second match on Friday.