By Patrick Omorodion
The clamour for the recall of Super Eagles captain Joseph Yobo increased during the week with the President-General of the Nigeria Football and other Sports Supporters Club, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo adding his voice.
Dr. Ladipo who spoke in Lagos pleaded with the Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi to reconsider dropping of Yobo from the team because of his contribution to the team in the past, adding that the captain may be used sparingly in matches.
“I feel that Yobo has contributed immensely to our football and should be given that honour to hit the 100 caps mark. He can be brought into matches to play for few minutes in just four matches. He is also experienced and can motivate the team,” he said.
Also speaking on the bonus issue that almost threatened to tear the team apart, Dr. Ladipo said that the intervention of the sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi was in the right direction because, “nothing should distract the team from qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.”
“We just have two more matches to qualify and the issue of bonus should not cause problem for the team now. I thank the minister for coming to the rescue by promising to ensure they get the US$10,000 bonus they are demanding,”Dr. Ladipo said in Lagos.
On the hurdle posed by Ethiopia, the Supporters Club boss said, “The Ethiopians are good no doubt but I don’t see them stopping Nigeria. If we prepare well, the Eagles will go to Addis Ababa and defeat them there but it is not going to be easy.”
The first leg of the final qualifier has been fixed for October 13 by the Ethiopians who claim they play their matches on Sunday while the return leg is scheduled for the U.J. Esuene Stadium in Calabar on November 16, 2013.
Some players of the team have expressed optimism in the team’s qualification but Elderson Echiejile, a defender has cautioned on the effect of the high altitude in Addis Ababa while coach Keshi said he expects a tough match from the Ethiopians.