Chairman of NFF Technical Sub-Committee, Chris Green led a delegation of Flying Eagles out to Rwanda on Monday afternoon, with a message that the NFF is taking a critical look at the crews of the National Teams with a view to ensuring that discipline and dedication to duty is paramount at all times.
The Flying Eagles will play an international friendly against the Young Amavubi of Rwanda in Kigali on Tuesday, before flying to Dar es Salaam on Thursday for Sunday’s 2013 African Youth Championship qualifier against the Junior Taifa Stars.
The delegation flew out of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja aboard a RwandAir airline flight.
Speaking against the backdrop of the ejection of Assistant Coach Abimbola Samuel and Goalkeeper Trainer Suleiman Shuaibu from the squad, Green said the NFF is determined to inculcate into the teams the important virtues of the development and re-building processes.
“Our principal concern for now is to ensure that discipline reigns in all the teams, and whoever is seen to be cog-in-the-wheel of progress in any of the teams will be thrown overboard without anyone batting an eyelid.
“Certainly, we want to win matches and competitions. But the age-grade teams are critical to our development programmes and we will never ignore negative vibes from there. It is from the age grade teams that players move to the Super Eagles, and they have to grow with the right values before they can do well in the senior team,” stated Green.
Coach John Sam Obuh led 18 players and his assistants and backroom staff, including new Goalkeeper Trainer Aloysius Agu. Agu, a former Captain of the Super Eagles, replaces Suleiman Shuaibu.
Also on Monday, the U-20 Women’s Team, Falconets departed from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja for Accra, Ghana where the team will play two friendly matches on Tuesday and Thursday this week, against the U-20 Women’s Team of that country, known as Black Princesses. The team travelled aboard an Arik Air flight.
And in a related development, the NFF said Monday that it is deeply touched at the unfortunate incident of an inferno that razed the home of former international defender, Gbenga Samuel Okunnowo in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Sunday morning.
Chairman of NFF Media and Publicity Committee, High Chief Emeka Inyama said news of the incident came to the top echelon of the Federation as a rude shock.
“It is a very unfortunate, very sad incident. Gbenga Okunnowo served this country meritoriously at both junior and senior levels, and played for such a revered club as FC Barcelona. He does not deserve what has happened to him.
“We grieve with him and his family at this sorrowful period. It is lamentable.”
It was reported that fire from a PHCN building around 1am in the night spread to the duplex of the former international defender, and destroyed the building, including valuable items such as international passports, European residency papers and money.