Nigeria’s second World Cup games will happen in today and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) wants Nigerians to keep faith alive.
It says the Super Eagles have put behind them the disappointment of the 2-0 defeat by Croatia to face the next matches and they are ready to go for the maximum points, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Tuesday.
Nigerians had lost faith in the team after they lost their first game to Croatia, with a former Super Eagles captain, Jay Jay Okocha, blaming the coach for the loss. He says the placement of players was not right.
But the Vice-President of the NFF, Seyi Akinwunmi, has received an assurance from the Super Eagles that the next game will put smiles on Nigerians faces.
He also transferred this assurance to Nigerians in a statement by his spokesman, Ademola Olajire, Lagos.
Olajire quoted the Chairman of the NFF organising committee as saying that the football house is expecting a match winning performance against Iceland on Friday.
“Akinwunmi told a gathering of the cream of Nigeria’s media representatives in Saint Petersburg that the NFF expected a match-winning performance from the three-time African champions against Iceland on Friday.
“Like all Nigerians back home, and like the team itself, the NFF was not happy with the loss to Croatia. But the Eagles have climbed that cloud now and ready to conquer.
“They have put behind them the defeat and looking ahead with determination to the remaining two games.
“I can confirm to you that the team is not lacking motivation in any way. Our agreement with them was that they would get their entire money for the group phase once they qualify,” the statement read
He added that “it is not a match-by-match basis. So, they are aware that if they win the remaining matches or just achieve the minimum to qualify from the group, regardless of this, they will still earn the money for all three matches”.
Akinwunmi praised Sports and Youth Development Minister, Solomon Dalung, for rallying Nigerians behind the team and staying behind in Russia to support the team in the remaining matches.
“We cannot fully express our appreciation to the Sports Minister, who has called on Nigerians to keep supporting the team and personally expressed belief in the team’s ability to reach the knockout rounds.
“We still have him with us here in Russia and he will lead the delegation to the match against Iceland in Volgograd.
“The Sports Minister led a Federal Government delegation to Russia and led the delegation to Kaliningrad for the first match, alongside the Nigeria Ambassador, Professor Steve Davies Ugbah,” he stated.
He hopes that President Muhammadu Buhari will speak to the team before the match, emphasising that the government’s support is total for the team.
According to him, motivation is huge, so they have no reason not to go all out on Friday.