Ogenyi Onazi is insisting that Nigeria can qualify for the second round of the World Cup despite an unexpected draw against Iran.
The Super Eagles failed to find a way past the resolute defending of the Iranians to finish with the first 0-0 draw of the tournament, but Onazi is confident all hope is not lost.
“We are not happy we didn’t win, but that’s football,” Onazi told newsmen after the match.
“We wanted to win but that didn’t happen.
“It doesn’t make it any more difficult. If we win the next two games, we will qualify from the group.
“That is what we have to do,” he added.
Nigeria’s next game is against Bosnia Herzegovina in Cuiaba, with the winner of that game expected to join Argentina in the next round.
Meanwhile, the President-General, Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), Rafiu Oladipo, yesterday urged Nigerians to remain steadfast in prayers for the Super Eagles to overcome the disappointment of Monday’s goalless draw against Iran.
Oladipo told newsmen in Sao Paulo, Brazil that Nigerians should not despair over the chances of the Eagles in the World Cup.
“Pray without ceasing, and God in His infinite mercies, will see us through,’’ he said.
Oladipo noted that the Eagles on several occasions, started competitions on a slow note only to pick up in subsequent matches.
The President-General said he was optimistic that the Eagles would improve on their performance in subsequent matches.
He said that with the belief in God, the prayers of Nigerians would not go unanswered and the team would not crash out in the group stage.
Oladipo, who is also the President-General, African Football and Other Sports Supporters Union (AFOSSU), also urged the Eagles to brace up in their matches against Bosnia and Argentina.
“Eagles should brace up against their opponents in their next matches, they should not be complacent.
“The statistics of the match against Iran showed that Nigeria had an upper hand in the match, but our boys could not convert opportunities before them.
“They should go all out against Bosnia and Argentina; the two matches are winnable.
“They should be courageous and should not nurse any form of fear or intimidation against their next opponents.
“They should not allow the outcome of the first match dampen their morale and determination to advance,’’ he said.
Nigeria will meet Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday and Argentina on June 26 in their remaining Group F matches.
Infantino Reveals How Nigeria Can Host FIFA Competitions
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino last Thursday, in Abuja, revealed how Nigeria can be made a destination for top Grade A football matches and FIFA competitions.
Infantino gave the insight when the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare took him on a tour of the renovated main bowl of the MoshoodAbiola National Stadium.
The FIFA boss, who was visibly happy with the re-grassed pitch at the stadium, said well-maintained stadia with good pitches were key to hosting grade A matches.
He said FIFA was ready to work more closely with Nigeria to develop the game and host more grade A matches in the country.
“We (FIFA) have to make sure when a country, when a government with the President, the minister and private persons are investing in football, in stadia, we work with them to give something back.
“It’s obvious that stadiums like this (MoshoodAbiola stadium) and others in Nigeria deserve the best quality games.
“They deserve top national team games, top club games and it’s not just about Nigerian football or African football, it’s about global football.
“We are working together to see what kind of new opportunities, competitions we can bring for men and women to fill this stadium and make the heart of the stadium beat for the fantastic spectacle that all of the Nigerian love, which is football,” he said.
Earlier, the minister said the Federal Government will continue to invest in sports development and facilities.
Tidesports source reports that the FIFA President, in the company of the minister, had earlier visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Statehouse, as part of his engagement.
Why NFF Must Offset Rohr’s Salaries, Bonuses – Aikhomogbe
Former Nigerian goal keeper, Andrew Aikhomogbe has called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to resolve every outstanding salaries and bonuses owed to the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr before the next World Cup qualifiers against Central Africa Republic (CAR).
Aikhomogbe made this known on the backdrop of the football body’s recent deal with Baba Ijebu.
Although the financial details of the deal was not disclosed, Aikhomogbe in an interview with Newsmen from his base in Cairo, Egypt, stated that the NFF should use this platform to offset Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“It’s a big delight to know that the Nigeria Football Federation have signed a deal with Baba Ijebu and this will serve as an opportunity for them to use part of the money to pay Rohr’s salaries and bonuses.
“There is no better time to motivate him than now before Nigeria’s next 2022 World Cup qualifiers against the Central Africa Republic (CAR) on October,” he said.
Enyimba Players Vow To Support Finidi
Enyimba FC Goalkeeper, John Noble has stated that the players of the People’s Elephants will be key to the success of the newly appointed coach of the team, Finidi George.
Finidi, signed a two-year deal with Enyimba and oversaw his first full training session with the team on Thursday after a cameo appearance on Wednesday.
Speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, Noble gave his assessment of the coach in his first session under the manager and believes the former Super Eagles winger has what it takes to lead the team to the next level.
He added that the Enyimba players will be the ones to hand Finidi George his success at the club.
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