WORLD CUP 2018 DRAW
- Â NSA commends team, calls for early preparation for Mundial
Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Former Wimbledon striker, John Fashanu, believes no group will come easy for Nigeriaâ€™s Super Eagles when the draw for the 2018 World Cup is held on December 1.
Nigeria will grace the World Cup for the sixth time next summer after the 1-0 win over Zambia last Saturday at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo to secure the sole ticket in Group B.
â€œRight now we are back on track, but the hard work all starts for the Super Eagles from here,â€ Fashanu said from Los Angeles, USA, on Tuesday.â€Ž â€œIt shows who we are and a little of what we have for now.
“I say well done to the team. Letâ€™s watch and see for now, but at this time all teams are dangerous. We should not hope to be drawn with any particular team or avoid any team. â€œAnd thatâ€™s why they are all the same dangerous. Most teams have many players playing in top flight European league,” Fashanu pointed out.
Meanwhile, the organisers of Nigerian Sports Award (NSA) have lauded Eagles for securing the World Cup ticket.
In a statement issued by the management of the award and signed by the executive member of the panel, Kayode Idowu, he expressed delight over the hard won victory even as he commended the coaching crew, the management of Nigeria Football Federation, NFF and other sports stakeholders for rallying round the team to secure the ticket.
Kayode saidâ€ It is most gratifying news to hear that Nigeria has eventually qualify to hoist the nationâ€™s flag at next yearâ€™s World Cup in Russia. For us in NSA, we are most excited about the piece of news. We believe achievement such as this is a clear testimony to the improvement being witnessed in football and other sports in general.
“We believe it can only get better as we have seen in some other sports. I think commendations should go to all the players for giving everything to earn this most coveted ticket.
We commend the team, the coaching crew for putting up a gallant fight to secure the ticket. They truly deserve all the accolades. If you follow the last few matches, you would notice the level of consistency and skillful display by the national team. The victories over other arch -rivals in the group alone are pointers that Nigeria has what it takes to beat any team if there is unity of purpose and drive to succeed. By this feat, it has shown that Nigeria football and sports in general can still get back to its rightful place that we were known for.
While applauding the role of the management of the NFF and Federal Ministry of Sport for Eagles sterling performance, he tasked them to support the team by starting preparation in earnest to avoid a repeat of Nigeriaâ€™s last outing at the World Cup.
According to him, with quality friendlies and adequate training, Nigeria has what it takes to surprise the World Cup by being the first African country to win the trophy.