By Ime Bassey
President of the Nigerian Football Association, NFA, Alhaji Aminu Maigari has advanced reason why the Super Eagles left for Addis Ababa the night before their encounter against Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia.
Speaking to a cross section of journalists during the CAF Confederations Cup match between Sunshine Stars of Akure and Al-Ittihad of Libya at the Mike Adenuga Jnr Stadium Ijebu-Ode which Sunshine won 1-0; Maigari said the decision was a unanimous decision.
“There was a long debate by the technical committee on the best way to prosecute the match. We met twice, some said we should go on the eve on the match, while others felt the day of the game was conducive enough. But after a long debate, majority said that we should go on the eve of the match, but we still thank God for everything,” Maigari stated.
He assured Nigerians that the Super Eagles will qualify for the Africa Nations Cup in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea, “We will qualify for the Nations Cup. I want to assure you that this great nation will qualify. God willing, with the support of and prayers from you and I, we will qualify.”
On whether he is bothered about the pressure mounted on the team by Guinea, he said, “Not at all! This is football where anything can happen. We never believed that we will draw with the Ethiopians in Addis Ababa. We all thought we will beat them silly. We are working on the qualifiers, we will defeat the Madagascans.
Commenting on the Osaze Odemwingie issue with chief coach, Samson Siasia, the former chairman of the finance committee of the Sani-Lulu board said “it is purely a technical matter, but I believe it will be settled very soon because I am not comfortable with everything that is happening. This is because I do not want to see anything go wrong in the family,” he said.
He appealed to soccer loving Nigerians to continue supporting the various national teams.
“Nigerians should not relent in their support and prayers for all the National teams. They should know that, they are stakeholders of football in the country. Everything cannot be done by the NFA alone. They should endeavour to bring their contribution and advice to the door steps of the Football Federation, we run an open door policy,” Maigari appealed.