COUNTDOWN AGAINST ALGERIA
From Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and Femi Solaja
In a surprise visit to the national team training section, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) yesterday charged the Super Eagles to beat Algeriain Saturday’s Russian 2018 qualifier in Uyo,
The nation’s number two citizen was accompanied on the visit to the National Stadium, Abuja Practice pitch by Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Uguru Uguru and Youths and Sports Minister Solomon Dalung, where he was introduced to the full house Super Eagles 23-man squad led by captain John Mikel Obi in the evening training session in Abuja.
While the Super Falcons are preparing for the 10th Women Africa Cup of Nations taking place in Cameroon 19th November – 3rd December this year, the Super Eagles are getting set for Saturday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against AlgeriaEagles after their workout.
He said the Eagles had demonstrated their capability to qualify for Russia 2018 in the aftermath of their 2-1 win over Zambia in Ndola, adding that the whole country would support their quest to qualify for the World Cup.
“Beating the Zambians in Ndola, I think that was an incredible feat. You have shown that we are certainly going to pull through to the World Cup. We are not just going to get to Russia, we are going to come back with the kind of victory that will stun the world,” Osinbajo said.
He added that government would support the aspiration and ensure that the Eagles compete in the best situation possible.
“Algeria is going to be a stepping stone. I know that you guys are all set and prepared to go. And frankly I think that we have everything that it takes to win and to win very, very decisively. So we have all our hopes and all of our aspirations and we place them very squarely on your very able and robust shoulders and we will be looking forward to victory.
“You are a great team and a disciplined one too. Just following what has happened so far in this world cup qualifier I think you have proved that you are definitely going to make it through.
Meanwhile, the President of Algeria Football Federation (AFF), Mohamed Raouraoua, has charged the national team to secure maximum points against Super Eagles on Saturday.
Aftermath of the frustrating 1-1 scoreline with visiting Indomitable Lions of Cameroun on Match Day one, the FA boss is of the opinion that only full points against Super Eagles will keep this team in touch with reality of qualification for the tournament in 2018 in Russia.
“You have a duty to come back with a positive result from the match against Nigeria. It is mandatory. We must win there,” Raouraoua told the players on Monday, as quoted by Le Buteur.
“All the Algerian people are behind you. They support you and hope for a good result in Nigeria. We must not disappoint, it’s all I can say,” added the Algerian FF president.
“The World Cup is an important event that should not be missed. You should know that everyone is behind you.”
In a related development, the Akwa Ibom State Government has announced that tickets for the match will go for the sums of N1000 and N500 for covered seats and popular side respectively.
The Permanent Secretary in the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Nse Edem stated yesterday that: “Given the importance of the match and the high expectation of Nigerians, the match tickets are certainly worth more than what they are being offered.
“However, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has charged the Organising Committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Sir Etekamba Umoren to make the tickets affordable so that we can have a full house to cheer the Super Eagles on the day.”
Edem, who is also Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee for the big game, assured that the Akwa Ibom State Government, working in harmony with the NFF will deliver a hitch –free game on Saturday.