The General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Musa Amadu says the Federation is not in agreement with those thinking Ethiopia’s Walya Antelopes belong to the featherweight category and would be easily over-run by the Super Eagles in next weekend’s World Cup qualifying cracker in Addis Ababa.
“Yes, we believe that the Super Eagles, champions of Africa, will come out of Addis Ababa with a good result, but we are not taking the match lightly. We do not subscribe to the suggestion that all we need do is turn up in Ethiopia and we would decimate the opposition without lifting a finger.
“There is this cliche that there are no longer minnows in international football. That is why the NFF is making all the arrangements to prepare the Super Eagles adequately for the match, and ensure the team travel in comfort to and from Ethiopia.
“We have already written to the NSC for use of the refurbished mainbowl of the National Stadium, Abuja for the team to train between Monday and Friday, before the departure to Ethiopia on Friday night.”
Amadu spoke in Abuja while receiving a delegation of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, led by the President-General, Dr. Rafiu Olalere Oladipo.
“That we are the African champions is a fact, and that Ethiopia is lowest-ranked African side remaining in the race is also a fact. But we are not going to look at those statistics and discountenance the Antelopes.
“The Addis Ababa Stadium is one of the most difficult venues for visiting teams in African football. We know that the Coaches are working to pick our best and strongest players to play that match. It is very important for us to get the 2014 FIFA World Cup ticket because next year marks 100 years of the amalgamation of our country and every Nigerian is looking forward seeing the Super Eagles at the World Cup in Brazil.”
Speaking earlier, Dr. Oladipo stressed the fact that the upcoming fixture with the Ethiopians is a Nigeria Project, insisting: “Nigeria’s flag must fly at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
“Not only are we the champions of Africa, we are also the biggest black nation on earth. We have the players to do the job but we must all be united, from the players to the NFF to the entire football family, we must be united in pursuit of this noble cause.
“We are aware of the constraints of the NFF, and that is why the Supporters Club has decided to appeal to Mr. President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR to see the match in Ethiopia as a special project and take special interest in seeing that as many Nigerian fans as possible travel for the match.”
Dr. Oladipo’s entourage included the Deputy President-General, Alhaji Waheed Adenrele Yusuf, Secretary General, Reverend Samuel Ikpea, Acting National Chairman, Mr. Vincent Okumagba and Treasurer, Mr. Sunday Eboh.
Also at the occasion were NFF Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Assistant Director (Media), Mr. Ademola Olajire and Special Assistant to General Secretary, Dr. Christian Emeruwa.