Chidi Offor-Okenwa, Chairman, Enugu State Football Association, says the Super Eagles’ Group in the forthcoming African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is the “group of death”.
Offor-Okenwa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Tuesday that there were no minnows in African football and as such, the Super Eagles should not take their opponents for a ride.
He noted that any team that made it to the competition was capable of winning it by virtue of performance.
The chairman, who is also the chairman of Nigeria National League, said that the Super Eagles’ group was a group of death.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Guinea, Madagascar and Burundi in Group B of the tournament.
“We are looking forward to a stiff competition and it is not all about group but about ensuring that they qualify to the next stage.
“The Super Eagles need to play and win all their matches because there are no minnow team in African football.
“You may not have big stars in these other teams but on the background, most of them are playing regularly for their local clubs,” Offor-Okenwa said.
He said that a player who is playing regularly for his clubs was better than a player regarded as a star player warming the bench in his big club.
“I can tell you that the group is going to be too competitive and that the Super Eagles should not take it easy with any opponent.”
On the invitation of new players to the team, Offor-Okenwa noted that such was good for competition and even if it caused confusion, a good coach would deal well with it.
He noted that competition in a team was good because in competition, you either fit in or you are out.
Offor-Okenwa said that the physical condition of a player at a particular time mattered a lot and that a player, who was not in a physical condition towards any competition, should not be considered.
On Mikel Obi’s return, the administrator said that he heard that Obi was playing regularly in Middlesbrough’s FC of England.
“’In the game of football, what we should be talking about is the player’s physical and mental readiness for a tournament and not a player who warms the bench in a big club,” Offor-Okenwa said. (NAN)