Flying Eagles coach, John Obuh
The Nigeria Football Federation has charged the technical crew of the U-20 National Team, Flying Eagles, to shun acts of pursuance of personal interests and face squarely the job of raising a formidable squad that will do Nigeria proud.
NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari said this on Wednesday at a meeting with the crew of the team, led by Head Coach John Obuh.
Maigari made no secret of the unhappiness of the Federation and the generality of Nigerians over the team’s poor outing at the Cape Town International Challenge at the end of May.
“We are really disturbed. The NFF is not encouraged by your performance in South Africa and you have to work hard and be committed to a much better output in the qualifying series for the 2013 African Youth Championship, which start this month.
“Cases of dogged pursuit of personal interests and abuse have severally come out of your camp, and we are not happy about this. Here at the NFF, our job, our commitment and our task is always to raise teams that will make over 160 million Nigerians happy with good performances on the field of play. You are the champions of Africa and yet, you went to South Africa and lost all three group stage matches. This is disheartening.
“The fact that we give all the National Teams free hand does not mean that we don’t know what we are doing. You must consider it a privilege to be involved with a project that can give joy to the generality of Nigerians,” said Maigari.
The NFF President’s meeting with the Flying Eagles’ crew came against the backdrop of the team’s upcoming 2013 African Youth Championship qualifying fixture against Tanzania, which first leg comes up in Dar es Salaam on July 28.
Maigari added: “The Flying Eagles is a team known over the decades for giving joy to Nigerians through good results. Way back in 1983, the team became the first from Nigeria to participate in a FIFA tournament. We cannot afford to backslide so terribly.”
Responding at the meeting, coach Obuh thanked the NFF President for his candour and pledged that the technical crew will raise a team that will do Nigeria proud not only in the qualifying series, but at the African Youth Championship slated for Algeria between 16th – 30th
March, next year.
In a related development, NFF’s Director of Competitions, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said on Wednesday that no player would be released from the
U-20 National Team’s camp to his club for any match or competition until the team successfully prosecutes the 2013 African Youth Championship qualifying fixture against Tanzania.