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NFF rules out friendlies for Super Eagles aheads AFCON qualifier

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• Nwosu, Udeze call for early preparations

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said that the Super Eagles will not be engaged in any international friendly match ahead of the 2022 AFCON qualifier against the Squirrels of Benin Republic. The match will hold on March 22.

NFF disclosed that since there won’t be FIFA window for friendly matches before the game, it would not be possible to organise a match for the Super Eagles.

The Federation however, assured that the Eagles would pick the vital points in Port Novo. Meanwhile, two former Nigeria internationals, Henry Nwosu and Ifeanyi Udeze, have called on the NFF to put modalities in place to ensure the Super Eagles beat the Squirrels of Benin Republic and book the ticket for the 2022 AFCON.

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Speaking with The Guardian, Nwosu stated that the poor performance by both the Flying Eagles and the Golden Eaglets at WAFU tournaments should serve as big lesion for the NFF, adding that inadequate preparation could land the Super Eagles in trouble in the race to 2022 AFCON. He wants all Super Eagles players invited for the AFCON qualifier to arrive camp early.

“The way Nigerian teams are struggling in international championships is not a good omen for the country. Other countries are facing COVID -19 challenges, but they find a way to make their national teams be in top shape.”

Ahead of the AFCON qualifier against Benin Republic, Gernot Rohr should make sure he opens the camp early. He should also invite domestic players for the qualifiers. Benin Republic is a West African nation, and they will do everything within their power to beat Nigeria at home. Rhor and NFF should start speaking with club and managements of Nigeria players abroad for early release of the player,” he said.

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On his part, Udeze stated that the Super Eagles would beat the Squirrels, adding that the senior national team should not be compared with the U-20 and U-17 teams.

“The Super Eagles are matured players, and they know the task ahead of them. The errors against Sierra Leone must have thought them a big lesson. But one challenge Rohr and NFF may face is getting the players early because most clubs may not want to release their players because of the second wave of Covid-19. NFF should start its work early. Nigeria needs to beat Benin Republic to qualify for the AFCON. Losing the game will not be too good for Nigeria,” he stated.

It will be recalled that Eagles could not join Algeria and Senegal to pick the AFCON ticket after failing to beat Sirrea Leone at home and away tie last year .

Super Eagles would be playing their last game of the AFCON qualifer on March 30 against Losontho.Nigeria is currently leading the AFCON group standing with a point ahead of Benin Republic.

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