President of Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari has charged the Super Eagles not to lose focus of three points in Namibia next week after scooping the maximum points against Kenya in Nairobi on Wednesday.
“It is important that we keep our focus. There are no longer small teams in international football and I believe you will approach the match with your usual seriousness and total dedication, which saw to
the fall of the Harambee Stars.
“President Goodluck Jonathan is happy with you, the Minister of Sports is happy with you and every Nigerian is happy and proud of you for the result against Kenya. Let us put the icing on the cake by winning in Namibia,” Maigari told the players in Nairobi, just before they departed for Windhoek.
The NFF President, who cut an excited profile at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Wednesday, insists that Nigerians are expecting the Eagles to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil after triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
Top officials of the Nigeria High Commission in Windhoek, including Ambassador Nath Olorunfemi, received the Super Eagles on their arrival on Friday, and the High Commissioner immediately assured the team and the NFF of adequate support before, during and after the match with the Brave Warriors.
“We will mobilize all Nigerians in Windhoek, through the Nigeria community, to come to the Stadium on match day and support you,” Olorunfemi said.
Nigeria top Group F of the African series for the 2014 FIFA World Cup with eight points, and will qualify for the two-leg final qualifying fixture if they win on Wednesday and Malawi fail to beat Kenya in
Blantyre same day. Malawi have six points, followed by Namibia with four, and Kenya have only two points.
Meanwhile, the Super Eagles arrived in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia on Friday and immediately moved to the stately Country Club Resort Windhoek.
They will be there for six days, training for the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Namibia’s Brave Warriors on Wednesday and the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup tournament that begins in Brazil on Saturday.
At dinner, Ambassador Oyateru, who also served as Nigeria’s High
Commissioner to Namibia in the 1990s, urged the team to show similar
guts and go-go spirit as they did against the Harambee Stars at
Kasarani on Wednesday.
“This is a big opportunity for myself and other officials of the
Nigeria High Commission here. You really made us proud. We all have
faith in you and you have shown what you can do by rejuvenating our
football with that triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations in South
Africa. And you have not let us down since then.
“Go to Windhoek and conquer so that our path to the 2014 FIFA World
Cup finals will become even clearer.”
Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, praised the Nigeria mission
in Nairobi for their love for the team, adding that the Nigeria
Football Federation deserved plaudits for the team’s progress.
“Since I started this job, the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari and
his team have been giving me great support in every area. They
believed in me from the beginning and believed in my approach and they
continue to do so. They also believe in the team, which is very
Wednesday’s match will start at 8pm at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, which
has artificial turf.
World football-governing body, FIFA has appointed Eritrean official,
Mensur Maeruf Kherseed as the Referee for the match. He will be
assisted by compatriot Berhe Tesfagiorghis O’Michael (1st Assistant
Referee), Djiboutian Hassan Egueh Yacin (2nd Assistant Referee) and
Eritrean Luelseghed Ghebremichael as Fourth Official. Mady Kanoso Bora
from Madagascar is the Referee Assessor while Ugandan Abbasi Ssendyowa
is the Match Commissioner.