President NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari
By Olawale Ajimotokan
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari has sensationally compared Thursday’s draw leading to the last stage of the qualifiers for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa as a war situation.
Nigeria, which will be in pot 1, is among the 30 teams that will be drawn in Johannesburg for the final 15 knock out matches that will be played in September and October this year.
But speaking Tuesday at the opening ceremony of the FIFA Management course for Nigeria Premier League managers and secretaries, Maigari said that the Super Eagles could not afford a repeat of the pitfall that caused them a place at the last Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
“It is a war and they (Super Eagles) have to see their task as a huge one in the sense that Nigeria can’t afford to miss out on South Africa 2013. I believe that we have learnt our lessons from the last qualifying games we have so far played. We are not afraid of any team because we know that we in for a war and when one is going for a war, he has to be very prepared and we will go there and play to win,” Maigari said.
He spoke just as the Secretary General of the NFF, Musa Amadu in a cheeky mood, prayed for a soft pick from pot 2 for Nigeria.
“It will be a good draw if we pick any of Cape Verde, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Niger or Mozambique. But comparatively, Senegal and Congo DR will be tough opposition which no one wants to draw at this stage. We certainly are not hoping for them,” Amadu said.
Maigari, reckoned that that the federation had provided all the necessary support for the Eagles to accomplish their task to win one of the tickets to the Nations Cup.
He also expressed delight with the form of the national team, saying that some of the friendly matches organized for the team have improved their standard.