Sports Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission, (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi
Sports Minister and Chairman National Sports Commission, (NSC) Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, Thursday charged the Super Eagles to approach the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda as a must win match.
The minister threw the gauntlet when the newly elected executive committee of the Sports Writers Association Nigeria (SWAN), FCT Chapter, paid a courtesy visit to him.
Nigeria will be at home to Rwanda at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar, on Saturday in the second leg of the qualifying campaign towards South Africa 2013.
Both sides eked out a goalless draw when they met in the first leg in Kigali in March.
Abdulahi, who said he was confident in the ability of the Eagles would to prevail over Rwanda, warned that Nigeria could not afford to miss the Africa Cup of Nations train, after they failed to be in the party to the last tournament at Gabon and Equatorial Guinea 2012.
“I have invited the officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and they have briefed me of the plans on ground which will be sufficient to see us triumph over Rwanda. The players should be remained of what is at stake and consider the match as a do or die affair. By God’s grace, we will win, as we can’t imagine a situation where a generation of Nigerian players will fail to qualify for two successive Nation Cup finals,” Abdualhi said.
Abudulahi similarly shed more light on the directive he gave to NFF to back out of the arrangement to employ Tom Sainfeit as the Technical Director of Nigerian football.
He said the decision was in sync with government policy not to employ a foreigner to a position which a Nigerian can effectively occupy.
“There is no going back on Saintfeit. I am a custodian of government policy which says that any job that Nigerians can do should not be done by foreigners. A Nigerian can fit in as a technical director because we need someone who will go round the country. That is what we told NFF and I am happy that they are already thinking along that line.