Former Super Eagles coach, Austin Eguavoen
*’FIFA Under-17 World Cup is developmental, not a ‘do-or-die’ affair’
Former Super Eagles coach, Austin Eguavoen, has advised that Nigeria should no longer see the FIFA Under-17 cadet World Cup as a must-win competition.
Eguavoen, who currently handles the City of David United (COD) FC of Lagos told NAN in Lagos on Sunday, that the FIFA U-17 World Cup should serve as a developmental programme and ``not a do-or-die affair.’’
The FIFA U-17 World Cup is scheduled to hold in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) between October 17 and November 8.
He warned football enthusiasts not to mount pressures on the Golden Eaglets to lift the trophy.
According to Eguavoen, who led the Golden Eaglets class of 2003 that included the likes of John Mikel Obi, Isaac Promise and Solomon Okoronkwo to Finland, said that the win-at-all cost syndrome has robbed the country of genuine football development.
``It is sad that in this part of the world, desperation to win-at-all cost compel people to exert pressures on the youngsters.
``The U-17 cadre should be the grooming ground for the future star players. We should understand this and stop the idea of killing talents in desperation,’’ stressed Eguavoen from hindsight.
Assessing the team’s level of preparedness for this year’s edition in United Arab Emirates, Eguavoen expressed confidence in the ability of the team’s handlers to rise to the occasion.
``Coach Manu Garba and his crew are seasoned men on the job. They have shown over time that they know what they are doing.
``I believe that if the players listen to instructions, they will go far in the tournament,’’ he concluded.