The Nigeria Football Federation has instructed Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, to focus primarily on earning Nigeria a 2014 FIFA World Cup finals ticket, before the business of full preparation for the 2014 African Nations Championship can start in earnest.
Against the foregoing, rising from its meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, the NFF Technical and Development Committee told Coach Keshi to come up with a 23-man list for the World Cup cracker against Malawi in Calabar on 7th September, and do away with the jumbo list of 42 that he had earlier submitted.
The former Nigeria captain has been told in no uncertain terms that there would be no elaborate camp for 24 home-based players, earlier scheduled to arrive in Abuja on Sunday, out of which only five will make the shortlist for the match in Calabar.
Chairman of the NFF Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, explained: “We must be very pragmatic and take it one step at a time. The 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket is very, very important to Nigeria and Nigerians. Yes, we have qualified for the African Nations Championship, for the first time ever, and we very much
“But there are three very crucial 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches that we must prosecute successfully to qualify for Brazil before we can start the build-up to the African Nations Championship.
Our smart money must be on focusing hard, and without any distraction, at the World Cup ticket.”
Keshi is expected to harmonise his list and submit a reviewed document to the NFF before the end of the week.