The Nigeria Football Federation has apologized to the federal government and
the good people of Nigeria over the Super Eagles’ failure at the 4th African
Nations Championship in Rwanda.
NFF president Amaju Pinnick
Leading the Group C table before kick-off of the final matches on Tuesday,
the Super Eagles failed to fly in a 0 -1 defeat by Guinea in Rubavu that
eliminated Nigeria from the continental house-party in Rwanda.
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NFF president Amaju Pinnick reiterated that the African Nations
Championship is “both developmental and preparatory for bigger challenges,”
and said without mincing words that the federation would now shift focus to
the qualification race for the bigger Africa Cup of Nations.
“We apologise to Nigerians for the poor outing of the Super Eagles in
Rwanda, but we toe the line of CAF which states that CHAN is a
developmental and preparatory competition. Of course, as Nigerians, we love
to win always, and we feel bad when we don’t.
“I want us to take the positives from this tournament. A player like Chisom
Chikatara broke onto the global platform and players like Usman
Mohammed, Chima Akas, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Austin Oboroakpo and Ifeanyi
Mathew confirmed their class.
“For me, it is disappointing that we did not progress; but the NFF will now
focus on the 2017 AFCON qualifiers, and start preparations early for the
remaining rounds,” Pinnick said.
The Super Eagles have a quick, top-of-the-table double –take against
Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying race, with the
first leg in Nigeria on March 23 and the return leg in Egypt five days later.