Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has disagreed with national team manager, Gernot Rohr’s assertion that the Super Eagles are not one of the favourites for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.
Nigeria completed their qualification campaign this past weekend with a 3-1 home win over the Seychelles on Friday, though they were guaranteed of their place at the Nations Cup finals long before hosting the Island minnows.
The West African power house won the last AFCON they appeared in (2013 in South Africa), but Rohr has maintained that the likes of Senegal, hosts Egypt and Morocco should be considered greater favourites to claim the trophy later this year.
“We are not among the favourites to win the Nations Cup trophy and it would be stupid for me to believe that we are going to win it,” Rohr explained.
However, the NFF supremo says he has high hopes and expectations for Nigeria at the AFCON.
“When you have a child and prepare him for an exam, your expectation is for the child to excel and that is the same expectation I have for the Super Eagles at the upcoming Nations Cup in Egypt. I expect them to go and compete for the trophy, nothing more, nothing less,” Pinnick is quoted by Vanguard.
My expectations are not overreaching because they are amongst the top four countries on the continent, which if they play to their best strength should guarantee them a place in the semifinals and from that position, the cup is within their reach,” he concluded.
SWAN Lauds NFF On COVID-19 Palliatives
The President of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Honour Sirawoo, has applauded the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the transparent manner it disbursed the COVID-19 palliative package from FIFA, CAF and other sponsors.
Sirawoo, who expressed delight in the N 11,580,000 (eleven million, five hundred and eighty thousand) Naira that was earmarked for SWAN said the NFF was meticulous in ensuring that all the stakeholders in Nigerian football were duly captured.
He further noted that the gesture will in no small way enhance the cordial working relationship between the NFF and other stakeholders especially SWAN, even as he urged all the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the grant.
“The leadership of the NFF has displayed a very high degree of transparency in the manner it handled the COVID-19 palliatives from its various sponsors by ensuring that all the stakeholders in the football development chain were captured.
“We in SWAN are particularly happy because this recognition will go a long way in alleviating the impact of the pandemic which has slowed down the economic activities of the country.”
“We thank the President of the NFF, AmajuPinnick and members of his Board for this well-thought and timely gesture; our members have gone through various degrees of pains following the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, we say thank you NFF,” he declared.
The SWAN President also assured that he will ensure that all the members of the association in its 37 state chapters were given their due from the amount.
Opara Dumps Enyimba
Defender, Austin Opara has parted ways with Enyimba International of Aba, despite joining the club twelve months ago.
Opara reached an agreement to terminate his contract despite having two more years on his contract he signed last year.
Opara joined the 2019 Nigeria professional football league Champions after ending his successful spell with the MFM Football Club of Lagos, where he captained the team for several seasons.
Opara arrived Aba giants with much promise but he found first-team opportunities difficult to come by, no thanks to the solid partnership of Anaemena and Adebayo at the back.
The hard-tackling defender is also behind Nelson Ogbonnaya down the pecking order, which only makes him Fatai Osho’s fourth choice.
Opara is however free to join any team of his choice ahead of 2020-2021 campaign.
COVID-19, Setback To League Players – Mbaoma
Enyimba player, Victor Mbaoma, has stated that league players at this rate have been put at a disadvantaged position with the current COVID-19 situation and the level of things with regard to when football will return.
Mbaoma, speaking in a chat with Tidesports source, said the current situation with regard to waiting for government approval, whereas their counterparts abroad are able to play behind closed doors, means league players are worst affected and may not be ready to be in the scheme of things until next year, career-wise and even with regard to movement abroad.
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