Kick Off World Cup Preparations, Amiesimaka Advises Nigeria

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A member of the 1980 African Cup of Nations winning squad, Adokiye Amiesimaka last Sunday urged Nigeria’s football authorities to kick off preparations for the 2018 Russia World Cup.
The former left winger gave the advice in an interview with  newsmen in Lagos.
He said that the youthfulness of the players played an important role coupled with their  dedication.
These, he said, remained the driving force of the team and should be  sustained during the World Cup.
“I congratulate the team for qualifying for the World Cup, they worked hard for it and the result is evidence of the effort put into it;  they have the energy and they utilised it well.
“We now need to pay attention to the next line of action, which will also depend on the teams that will qualify for the tournament;  we know them and we should start studying them.
“We need to study and understand their strength  and weaknesses, that’s important, you need to assess the strength of your opponents  so you can strategise to neutralise them.
“Then you can capitalise on their weaknesses, so I think that’s the most important thing that should be done,’’ he said
Tidesports gathered source that some of the countries that have qualified for the FIFA 2018 World Cup are Iran, Japan, Korea Republic, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, England, Germany, Russia and Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico and Brazil. The former Enugu Rangers Football Club player further emphasised that Nigerian teams had always underestimated the need to study their opponents in international competition.
“What has been  happening in the past more often than not is that we do not bother to look at the teams of our opponents, that’s a big mistake.
“We shouldn’t wait for the World Cup itself to start before looking at those issues, you do that over a period of time  before the competition starts.
“That will give you a better idea of what to expect, if you know the psychology  of a team, then you are in a better position to know how you are going to play against them,’’ he said.
According to Tidesports source, the 2018 Russia World Cup is scheduled to hold between  June 14  and  July 15 in Moscow.
Amiesimaka, a former Chairman of Sharks Football Club of Port Harcourt,  also urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to organise regular top-grade friendly matches before the  World Cup.
“What they need to do, if it can be arranged,  whatever opportunity we have to put them together for friendly matches should be utilised so they can play together often.