With barely 37 days to the kick off of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria’s Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, yesterday engaged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Super Eagles Head Coach, Jose Santos Peseiro, to know the state of readiness of the team.
The meeting which held at the Minister’s office in Abuja, it was learnt, focused more on fostering synergy and solidifying a comprehensive roadmap to ensure optimal preparations for Nigeria to win the AFCON again, 10 years after the late Stephen Keshi did at South Africa in 2013.
“Our country is so passionate about football, such that amidst all other sports, football is about the only sport that has an entry in the nation’s national budget,” the Minister noted. “That is how important football is, because whatever happens to it, happens to us as a country.”
“After 10 years, the country is thirsty to win the AFCON. It will matter a great deal to the Nigerian people, and to the Government of President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
“It is important to not just leave the task to the NFF alone, but the Government is also interested in being able to tell the Nigerian people what is being done in that regard,” Senator Enoh added.
He stated that the AFCON represents a pivotal opportunity for the national team to showcase strength and resilience on the continental stage.
The meeting underscores the Ministry’s commitment to providing all necessary support and resources to ensure Super Eagles’ readiness and competitiveness at the tournament.
Speaking at the meeting, NFF president, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau assured Nigerians that there is no need to panic, as all hands are on deck, working round the clock to ensure the country flies high at the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.
He added that the NFF is committed to making sure the country performs well at the championship.
Super Eagles gaffer, Peseiro, conveyed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts and reiterated his commitment to steering the Nigerian national team towards excellence.
He however highlighted the significance of a robust preparation and emphasised that the technical crew will work with the players to sort out grey areas and bring joy to Nigerians.
The 2023 AFCON will be held in Côte d’Ivoire between January 13 and February 11 with Nigeria to battle hosts Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in the group stage.