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Mali, Luxembourg games will help build new Super Eagles, NFF explains


Amaju PinnickNext month’s international friendlies against Mali and Luxembourg will help the Super Eagles coaches to integrate the emerging talents in the team, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said.

Nigeria will meet Mali and Luxembourg late next month and early June in France and Luxembourg respectively during the next FIFA window.

Reacting to the criticism that trailed the announcement of Mali and Luxembourg as choice opponents for the Super Eagles, NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, insisted that the two friendly matches were strategic to the development of a new Nigerian team.

Pinnick explained that the NFF wanted to get bigger opponents for the Eagles, adding, however, that most of the teams were occupied during the FIFA window.

Insisting that playing Mali and Luxembourg was not frivolous as many people think, Pinnick said: “The two games will benefit the new Super Eagles we are trying to build and it is wrong to say Mali and Luxembourg are weak teams because Mali is a force in African football while Luxembourg boasts players in the Belgian and French leagues.

“Again, we want to build the team gradually by playing some big football nations as well as some weak football nations. We are not going to allow them get bashed anyhow by top teams… they need to get some results to boost their confidence and progress. Nigerians will appreciate what we are doing now very soon.

“Our agent is working tirelessly to get us a couple of top ranked teams in the next FIFA window. The coaches have been given a mandate to build a good team that will not only qualify for the World Cup but be the pride of the nation.”

Salisu Yusuf, who will work with Kennedy Boboye and Imama Amakapabo as the team’s interim coaches, will lead the Super Eagles to the two friendly games.

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