‘Super Eagles deserve commendation in spite of loss’

Egypt's Marwan Mohsen (R) watches on as Nigeria's Victor Moses (C) heads the ball during their African Cup of Nations group G qualification football match between Egypt and Nigeria at the Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria on March 29, 2016 (AFP)

Egypt’s Marwan Mohsen (R) watches on as Nigeria’s Victor Moses (C) heads the ball during their African Cup of Nations group G qualification football match between Egypt and Nigeria at the Borg el-Arab Stadium in Alexandria on March 29, 2016 (AFP)

A sports official, Layi Adesiyan, on Wednesday said the Super Eagles deserved commendation in spite of the team’s ouster from the ongoing 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Adesiyan, who is the Director of Sports, Osun Ministry of Youths, Sports and Special Needs, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

NAN reports that Nigeria’s Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2017 AFCON on Tuesday in Alexandria after a 0-1 loss to the Pharaohs of Egypt.

Adesiyan urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to handle the affairs of the Super Eagles with concern.

“The match in Alexandria was a good one but our players were unable to convert their efforts to goals.

“But we all know they all play for foreign clubs and they are doing wonderfully well. So, there is hope for us.

“We can see the change in both their games with Egypt at home and away.

“So, what we need now is that there should be a good relationship with whosoever is coaching our national team,’’ he said.

The official however pointed out that the changes in the team’s coaching personnel brought about a problem.

“If the present coach, Samson Siasia, had been employed earlier on, instead of the former coach Sunday Oliseh, I believe the team will perform better.

“But I’m sure the NFF would have realised its mistake now.

“We are not happy with the defeat the team suffered, but we have to encourage them ahead of future encounters,’’ he said.

Adesiyan nonetheless urged the NFF to send Nigerian coaches and ex-international players abroad for training courses to enable the country’s team regain its past glory.

“To reclaim our past glory, it will take us some time because some of the present players might not be able to deliver the way we expect them to.

“Our concern now should be to start look for young players who can be part of our senior team for the 2019 AFCON.

“Our national team has to be restructured for better outcome in the future,’’ he said.



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