Super Eagles game against Sao Tome preparation for World Cup qualifiers, says NFF
• NFF Holds Yearly General Meeting In Uyo
• Security Committee Ready For Big Day
Super Eagles’ last qualifying game for the Cote d’Ivoire 2024 African Cup of Nations against Sao Tome and Principe in Uyo today is part of the preparatory matches for the national team ahead of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, which begin later this year, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said.
Nigeria, which defeated Sao Tome and Principe 10-0 in the first leg of the tie, opted to play the inconsequential leg with the full complement of their stars instead of employing home-based players for the game, raising questions on the wisdom of such move in spite of NFF’s dire financial situation.
But the NFF has defended the decision, saying today’s match would be used to test some of the newly invited players to the national team, as well as help Coach Jose Peseiro and his crew to correct some of the team’s deficiencies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, Champions League fixtures and results which begin in November.
A source close to the team also said that Peseiro sees the game as avenue to convince the federation that he is the right man to lead the Eagles to the World Cup qualifiers and next year’s African Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, Sao Tome’s Coach, Eusebio Adriano, believes that he has a better team that cannot be humiliated with another 10-0 defeat by the Super Eagles.
Speaking ahead of the game, Adriano said: “We are not here to play. We don’t have anything to lose from this game; so, Champions League live streaming options we will use it to learn and also try new players, but most importantly, we don’t want to lose 10-0 like it happened in June “
Apart from the game in Uyo, the qualifier presents the NFF opportunity to hold its yearly general meeting today.
The federation’s officials arrived in the Akwa Ibom State capital early this week to prepare grounds for the meeting and also take care of logistics for the game.
Yesterday, NFF Security Committee Chairman, Alhaji Babagana Kalli, ZEbet now have the highest odds told journalists that all safety and security arrangements have been perfected ahead of the match.
“We have held a series of meetings with representatives of all security agencies and we are all on the same page. As I speak with you, we are having another meeting with the representatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps, DSS, Secrets to winning Police and the Army.
“There is no small match in football again. Safety and security are very important aspects of the organization of any sporting event, and we are not unaware of that fact. We will still hold a number of meetings on Saturday evening and Sunday morning to perfect arrangements.”
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, is expected at both the match and the earlier opening ceremony of the 79th NFF yearly general assembly, Over 2.5 alongside Sports Development Minister, John Owan Enoh, Permanent Secretary, Ismailia Abubakar, Nigeria’s FIFA Council Member and Member of the CAF Executive and Emergency Committees, Amaju Melvin Pinnick and Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Sports, Monday Uko.
The visiting Falcons and True Parrots, as the Sao Tome and Principe national team are known, had their first training in Nigeria on Friday, and were scheduled to have their official training by 5.00 p.m. yesterday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium. Group leaders Nigeria were expected to train at 6.00 p.m. at the same venue.
The Super Eagles require the minimum win to finish top of the pool, having already qualified for the finals in Cote d’Ivoire early next year following their 3-2 defeat of Sierra Leone in Monrovia on June 18.
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