By Jacob Ajom
Chairman of Heartland Football club of Owerri, Chief Ignatius Okeahialam has said that the national team campaigning at the 27th Africa Cup of Nations was missing the services of home-based players.

CONTEST ... Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel, left, is tackled by Egypt’s Hossam Ghali, right, during their African Cup of Nations Group C soccer match at the Ombaka National Stadium in Benguela, Angola.Egypt won 3-1.

Speaking on telephone with Sports Vanguard, Sunday, the football administrator said, “Certainly, we are missing them. They are the people that need jobs. They would have been more forceful and more determined as they need such big occasions like the Nations Cup to hit stardom.”

Okeahialam further remarked that the team was practically struggling because it was made up of those he feels have made enough money.

“They are no longer hungry. They only need the Nations Cup to be able to move to the next level. They don’t show any sign of hunger or urgency in their play. We sure need the home-based players in that team,” Okeahialam contended.

Looking ahead to Eagles’ next match against Mozambique, the Heartland boss said there was nothing to fear about Mozambique. “Ordinarily, we should not have any problem with them. The Eagles have watched them play two matches in Angola. Aside that, Nigeria and Mozambique played twice- home and away during the qualifiers. They should know how to handle them.”

The club boss would not want to be dragged into the debate on the fate of coach Amodu Shaibu.
“I would not know the thinking of his employers, so I cannot say anything on that because it would be of no effect. Unless if his employers seek my opinion and until that time, I can’t say anything on that,” he concluded.


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