021 AFCON FALLOUT Ministry, NFF Hold Crucial Meeting on Super Eagles, Eguavoen

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Duro Ikhazuagbe

Super Eagles’ performance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and preparations for the 2022 World Cup playoff against Ghana in March will be the main topic of discussions as the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development(FMY&SD)and the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) hold a crucial meeting in Abuja today.

The three-time African champions exited the ongoing AFCON in Cameroon at the Round of 16 to Tunisia last Sunday despite recording a 100 per cent success at the group stage.

THISDAY learnt last night that the meeting is also going to reach a decision on whether to retain Augustine Eguavoen on the Eagles job or return to his Technical Director role at the federation and allow Portuguese gaffer, Jose Peseiro replace sacked Gernot Rohr.

Although the NFF leadership is believed to have offered the Eagles job to Peseiro, the body language of the sports minister appears to favour Eguavoen continuing with the team.

An informed source hinted that the possibility of discontinuing contract talks with the Portuguese is not unlikely “given the new quality Eguavoen has brought to Eagles. Despite losing to Tunisia, Nigerians saw a different Super Eagles at the AFCON because Eguavoen knows the players and their capacity. I doubt if two months will be enough for Peseiro to acquaint himself with the team to go and face the Black Stars of Ghana.”

Meanwhile, Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa has said that there is no room for any pity-party and that the shock f the early ouster from AFCON has only made the squad stronger as lessons have been learnt.

“You know it is still a shock but I can assure you that things like these make a team stronger. We did our best in the circumstances. When you lose at a tournament, it hurts really bad. However, we don’t have time to keep reflecting over what went wrong.

“We have very important challenges in front of us, and all we can do is stay stronger and have firm belief in ourselves that we can do it. The focus is now on the World Cup play-off.”

The Super Eagles are to play the Black Stars in the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff with the Ghanaians set to host the first leg and the reverse in Nigeria, both matches to take place between 24th and 29th March.