Minister holds emergency meeting with NFF tomorrow
•Rohr still confident in ‘young Eagles’
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting with the Technical Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) over the poor performance of the Super Eagles, who lost an African Nations Cup qualifier 0-2 to South Africa in Uyo on Saturday.
A statement by the minister’s Special Assistant, Media, Nneka Anibeze said the meeting, among other things, will look at the immediate and remote causes of the loss to the visiting Bafana Bafana. Nigeria is now third on the Group E table behind South Africa and Libya.
The meeting will hold in the Minister’s conference room at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja at 2.00 p.m.
The statement quotes Dalung as calling on football lovers and Nigerians generally to collectively support the Super Eagles in their quest for the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup tickets.
“This is a temporary setback which is surmountable. We need to sit with the technical Committee and crew to find out the immediate and remote causes of this setback.
“We have very young talented players in the Super Eagles and we trust that with more hard work and determination, this result can be reversed when we go to South Africa.
“This is just the beginning of a long journey. The Super Eagles will definitely be in Cameroun because we can’t afford to be absent at the Africa Cup of Nations for a third consecutive time.
“We must do all within our means to support the team when they win and when there’s a setback. We will ensure that no stone is left unturned in our pursuit of a ticket to Cameroun,” Dalung assured.
Meanwhile, Super Eagles coach, Genard Rohr has assured Nigerians that Saturday’s performance will not happen again in the race to the Cameroun 2019 Nations Cup.
Rohr, who looked subdued during the post match conference following his team’s failure to shine in Uyo on Saturday, said the team has learnt a good lesson from the encounter.
“Nobody is happy with the result but in some negative result there are some positives. The first goal we conceded was a counterattack from the right flank and the second goal was a gift.
“My young team played a very good first half. They played well but they didn’t score and in the second half we knew that the experienced team of South Africa could be dangerous and counter.
“We had difficulties to finish the game, they made so many efforts. Some of our players were tired so we tried to put in some attacking players to bring in some power in the attack but failed.
“We knew they were unbeaten in the last 17 games, now 18. I believe that this game we made progress with my young team of an average age of 24 years. The youngest team in Africa.
“We controlled the game until they scored.”
He assured that the Eagles will be ready for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Cameroun in a couple of months, adding that he would meet with members of his technical crew and the NFF to plot the route to success in the back to back encounters with the Indomitable Lions.
Nigeria will host the four-time African champions in Uyo on August 28.