* NFF clears air on AKS Gov’s donation to Eagles
Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr, has picked skipper Rainford Kalaba and France-based Stoppila Sunzu as the players to watch when Nigeria visits Zambia for a World Cup qualifier next month.
Nigeria is to open her 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign on October 3 at the Ndola Stadium in Zambia.
Rohr said he has a good idea of the 2012 AFCON champions.
“They have some really good players – Kalaba is the best, he scores goals always for them and I also know Sunzu very well because he plays in France,” disclosed Rohr, when he paid a courtesy visit to the General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday.
He assured all that Eagles will be at their best for the World Cup qualifiers because “we have to be in Russia”.
“We will need all our best players to be at their very best,” he said.
“We had a good list for the Tanzania match but a couple of players were injured and we will like to look at those ones as well.
“The focus is to strengthen the spine of the team and ensure they can beat any team.
“The confidence has not been there because the team failed to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations, but when results start to come, the confidence will return,” stressed Rohr who coached the national teams of Gabon, Burkina Faso and Niger, and also had a stint with Tunisian club Etoile du Sahel.
In response, Sanusi pledged full support for the coach and his backroom staff.
“We have immense confidence in you and your staff; we will not dabble into your technical area,” Sanusi said.
“Our responsibility is to provide the right atmosphere to make you succeed. We see that you are a gentleman but will not take your simplicity for granted.
“If you can work in a place like Niger Republic, I believe you would be able to work even better in Nigeria.”
Rohr was accompanied to the NFF secretariat by Salisu Yusuf (chief coach), Jean-Luc Royer (assistant) and Tunde Adelakun.
Meanwhile, the NFF has cleared air on the N10million donated to the Super Eagles by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel.
In an e-mail to THISDAY yesterday, NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, said that there was no controversy over the donation made to the team as the governor made it clear what the money was meant for while presenting the cash to the federation.
“Please be informed that the N10m given to the NFF by Akwa Ibom State government was not for the Super Eagles to share.
“The governor made it clear it was to assist the NFF with organisation of the match, and it was from there that the NFF paid the players their daily allowances.
“The team captain was there when the governor made the presentation and stated clearly what the money was for,” stressed Olajire last night.