19 July 2016
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, has assured Nigerians that the Super Eagles will qualify for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
Pinnick who gave the assurance at the NFF secretariat in Abuja on Monday said he was sure of the team’s qualification in spite of certain unresolved issues within the football family.
He assured that strategies had been put in place for this, including an expansive discussion with the players, in order to ensure the country qualified for the Mundial.
“Without repeating myself, I want to say that by God’s grace we are going to qualify. We have sealed everything, including discussing with the players.
“There is a level to which we can go in terms of providing everything because the team may not have a mental character to participate.
“We have to psyche them up to improve their mental character. We expect our players to be patriotic, just as we saw in a Ronaldo crying when he was injured in the final of the Euro 2016 tournament,’’ the NFF president said.
On the quality of teams in Nigeria’s group in the qualifiers, Pinnick said it could not have been better.
“I want to still emphasise that the 20 teams which have qualified are very capable and I will rather we play against Algeria than Gabon.
“I mean that since Gabon have not been to the World Cup before, they will be crazy to be there. However, I can assure you that Nigeria will qualify,” he said.
The NFF president urged Nigerians not to worry about the funds to take care of paying the incoming Super Eagles’ Technical Adviser.
He said the federation had secured a sponsorship package to bankroll the payment of five national team coaches.
“The process has been very good and we are trying to avoid the mistake of the past and make sure that we bring only the best to qualify us for the World Cup.
“We got a partner to take care of all the coaches, not just whoever is selected, but all the coaches.
“We have sent a request for about five coaches, but the company (the sponsor) feels very strongly that we should make it private and at the appropriate time we shall announce it to the world.
“We are making efforts to pay all the coaches we are owing, and at the same time we are trying to offset all the debts.
“But, the most important of it is that we are desirous of qualifying for the next FIFA World Cup finals,’’ Pinnick said.