By John Egbokhan
1980 Nations Cup winner, Segun Odegbami has heaved a sigh of relief after seeing Nigeria make a last-gasp passage to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Odegbami, a member of the Presidential Task Force set up by President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua to ensure the qualification of the Super Eagles for the football showpiece, was amongst the few Nigerians who were at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, venue of the decisive match on November 14.
After seeing Nigeria come from a goal down in the first half to stage a memorable 3-2 comeback win, that guaranteed them a World Cup ticket, Odegbami said that he felt worried at Eagles performance..
â€œWords cannot describe the relief and joy in me because it did look like we were not going to make it but I always had the strong feeling that we would make it to the first World Cup to hold on the African continent. It would have been bad that we would not play at South Africa, given our soccer pedigree.
â€œI congratulate the players for winning the match but I felt that the performance, technically, was not great. I do not want to dwell on the performance because it would take the shine off our qualification, which, at this moment, far outweighs, whatever transpired on the field of playâ€.
He also talked about a restructuring process ahead of Eagles campaign at the 2010 showpiece.
â€œThe serious work starts now for the team and we must look at all the areas that require shoring up because we cannot say that we are comfortable with the team now. Our ambition at the World Cup must be to soar higher and for us to do that, we need to work on this teamâ€, added Odegbami.