Eagles must win ‘solid’ against Sierra Leone, minister tells Peseiro
‘You have to live in Nigeria, enjoy our food’
Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, has told Super Eagles Head Coach, José Santos Peseiro, to ensure ‘a solid’ win against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone today in Abuja. Both teams will clash in a Day 1 encounter of the qualification series for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Dare spoke yesterday at a brief ceremony in Abuja, where the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) formally presented Peseiro to the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Sports Ministry.
Dare told the gaffer in no uncertain terms that Nigerians want their national teams to win every game, even though this is impossible in sport. “Whenever the team does not win, it must be clearly seen to have demonstrated high-level commitment, fervour, consistency and discipline on and off the pitch.
“To be able to appreciate the deep love of our people for the game and why they want their team to win all the time, you have to live in our country, enjoy our food, our weather, our hospitality. I want to let you know that the process that produced you was governed by diligence, commitment and spirit of teamwork, and indeed very thorough. I believe that you will use this opportunity to make a mark by leading the Super Eagles to new heights,” he stated.
Speaking further, Dare charged Peseiro to make Super Eagles a blend of the very best at home and abroad, saying the Ministry will assist in the rebuilding process by providing a conducive environment for the Portuguese to use their best efforts and endeavour to restore the confidence of football-loving Nigerians and the government in the Super Eagles.
Earlier, NFF Second Vice President, Shehu Dikko, who stood in for President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, thanked the minister and the sports ministry for support and guidance during the process that produced Coach Peseiro, and reiterated that the Portuguese ticked all the boxes for the Federation having coached in four continents, worked with big clubs and big players and demonstrated a keen desire to work with the Super Eagles.
While the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, challenged Peseiro to work hard and with passion to achieve his mandate, NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi said he has been impressed with the Portuguese tactician’s training methods and work ethic, prior to the friendlies with Mexico and Ecuador in the United States of America.
Peseiro, on his part, thanked the government and people of Nigeria for the opportunity to tinker with the Super Eagles and said he is fully committed to the objective of winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire next year.
“I have always loved the Nigerian team, ever since I watched them play at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States. It is a team with a solid pedigree. Presently, we have both quality and quantity of players and it is always a good situation for any team,” he stated.