Alhaji Aminu Maigari, NFF President
The Nigeria Football Federation assured on Friday that it has concluded all arrangements for seamless organization and motivation of the Super Eagles and the Golden Eaglets for this weekend’s continental finals’ qualifying matches in Calabar.
While the Super Eagles take on the Lone Star of Liberia in a 2013 African Cup of Nations final qualifying match on Saturday, the Golden Eaglets will take on the U-17 National Team of Guinea in a 2013 African U-17 Championship second round, first leg match. Both matches
come up at the U. J. Esuene Stadium.
Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, High Chief Emeka
Inyama said in Calabar on Friday that the Federation is expecting nothing of short of handsome victory in each of the two matches.
“On our part as the football-governing body, we have done everything
necessary to guarantee victory, through adequate preparation of the two teams involved. We have working hard and diligently with the Cross River State government to deliver seamless organization in both games and make them memorable to the fans.
“This is not the first time we are organizing important matches on the
same weekend. The fact that both matches are taking place in Calabar
makes this one relatively easier,” assured Inyama.
The NFF Executive Committee member also reminded fans coming to the U.
J. Esuene Stadium for both matches to turn up in their green-and-white.
“It is important that we start to imbibe the culture of coming to the stadium for international matches in our national
colours. This creates a unique atmosphere and inspires the team
NFF’s Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, a son of the soil, has been in Calabar for the past five days putting finishing touches to all arrangements, alongside top functionaries of the Cross River State government.
As at Friday morning, the NFF was still expecting the 125-member Liberian delegation, as against information from the Liberia Football Association that the team would land in Calabar by 7.30pm on Thursday.
“We’re still expecting them to advise us on their new arrival time. They got in touch with us on Thursday night to say that they had a problem with the aircraft they wanted to charter and that they would find their way into Nigeria on Friday,” said Bola Oyeyode, NFF’s Head
of International Competition.
However, the Guinean U-17 Team arrived in Lagos on Friday morning and was headed for Calabar by noon, aboard an Arik Air flight.
Both the Cross River State government and the NFF expect a full house at the 10,000–capacity U. J. Esuene Stadium for Saturday’s cracker, should see the Super Eagles return to African football’s choice houseparty after missing the finals in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year.
Liberia has never been able to earn a draw or a win on Nigerian soil and Super Eagles’ Head Coach, Stephen Keshi, was in the squad that achieved three wins out of four against the Liberians in the 1980s.
On October 20, 1984, in Lagos, the Eagles trounced the Liberians 3-0
in a Mexico 1986 World Cup qualifying match, and followed up with a 1-0 win in Monrovia two weeks later.
In a Seoul 1988 Olympic Games qualifying match on June 28, 1987, the
Lone Stars earned a 2-1 win over the Eagles in Monrovia, only to be bashed 4-1 in Lagos a forthnight after.