during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Duro Ikhazuagbe
With barely three weeks to the make or mar two-legged 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying clash between the Super Eagles and the Pharaohs, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has launched “Operation Defeat Egypt.”
 The list of players to make the operation successful is expected to be unveiled tomorrow in Abuja after new helmsman, Samson Siasia and the Technical Committee of the NFF have reached made their input on it.
First Vice President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi said in Lagos yesterday that the federation would not take chances with Nigeria’s qualification for the AFCON 2017 and the World Cup 2018 qualifiers.
“This is the present pre-occupation of the federation for now. This is no time for politicking or dwelling in the past. We are asking all Nigerians to join forces with the federation to defeat the visiting Egyptians in Kaduna on March 25 before going to Cairo for the return legfour days later.
“We have a single objective at the NFF now which is to defeat Egypt in order to guarantee the Super Eagles a place at the next AFCON,” stressed the NFF chief who refused to dwell on the resignation of Sunday Oliseh from the Eagles job.
“We have put the resignation of Sunday Oliseh as chief coach of the Super Eagles in the past. We have made the position of the NFF known in the statement we issued through our media department on Monday. We don’t want to be distracted by reports of ultimatum from anybody. I am a lawyer same as the Chairman of the Technical Committee, Barrister Chris Green,” observed Akinwunmi who also doubles as Lagos State Football Association chairman.
Also speaking at the interactive session, Green corroborated the position of Akinwunmi, stressing that the list of players for the ‘Operation Defeat Egypt’ showdown is to be ratified and announced on Thursday.
“The technical committee will ratify the list to be presented by the coaching crew after our meeting Abuja tomorrow. We do not have the luxury of time on our side to begin to dwell on the past,’’ observed Green.
He revealed that caretaker manager of the Eagles, Samson Siasia has been provided with a car to make logistic smooth for him on the job.
“Coach Siasia has been provided a car and other logistics to enable him to perform. He and his staff will be working directly with the technical director of the federation, Amodu Shaibu,” he further clarified.
Contrary to speculations in a section of the media that the exit of Oliseh was going to have serious effect on the outcome of the team in the two-legged clash with Egypt, Green hinted that more than 50 players have been calling the player ready to be part of the team to play Egypt.
“I am aware that many of the top Eagles’ players have been contacted and some on their own have expressed willingness to be part of the game. ’’
The technical committee chairman equally refuted any fear over the suitability of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna for the first leg tie.
“As I speak with you, we have our men on ground in Kaduna working to ensure that the pitch is in top shape for the AFCON 2017 clash with Egypt. So far, we don’t have any reason to be afraid,” said the NFF board member.
Eagles are scheduled to host the first leg of the AFCON 2017 qualifier against the Pharaohs of Egypt on March 25, in Kaduna. The second leg holds four days later in Cairo on March 29.
Egypt currently leads Group G on six points from two game followed by Nigeria with four points from two matches. Tanzania and Chad are the other teams in the group