Despite attempts by European clubs to prevent Nigerian and other African players from representing their countries at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, NFF President Amaju Pinnick believes the Super Eagles can win the tournament.
Pinnick stated in “The Morning Show” yesterday that the Super Eagles can beat any of the 24 Cameroonian teams in the African football showpiece.
“Nigeria can win in Cameroon.” Nigeria is the tournament’s most feared team. When the Super Eagles prepare for a tournament, they shock the world and win. “Cameroon 2021 will not be an exception,” he said in his first interview of the year.
Pinnick insisted God loves Nigeria. “Our preparations may appear lackluster, but when our players don the green and white jerseys, everything changes.”
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He implied that interim handler Austin Eguavoen was working hard to deliver.
The best Coach is Austin Eguavoen. “He understands footballers’ mentality and is doing his best to bring out the best in our players,” said Pinnick.
But the NFF President admitted Eguavoen was facing the usual challenges as a Super Eagles coach.
He is being pressured by so many scouts and players’ agents to pick their players. They say he can ‘chop’ on the Super Eagles interim coaching job by compromising. But the Eguavoen I know has rebuffed them and is doing what he believes is best for the Eagles’ success,” revealed the NFF Boss.
The NFF prefers foreign coaches because of the distractions and unnecessary pressure.
This sort of nonsense with foreign coaches is unheard of, Pinnick noted.
“Four of the Super Eagles players have recovered and now test negative for Covid,” said NFF President Peter Odemwingie. “The fifth is awaiting the result of his last test yesterday.”
The new Nigerian coach, Jose Peseiro, excites Pinnick. “Jose (Peseiro) knew all our players before taking over the Eagles job. When we were talking before, I was amazed at his knowledge of every Super Eagles player.”
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He dismissed critics of Peseiro’s appointment as Nigeria’s coach. José Peseiro is a top-notch coach. He comes to Nigeria knowing our players and our game. The last game defines a coach. In addition to living in Abuja, the Portuguese coach will also have a guest house in Lagos, Pinnick revealed.
To prevent African players from representing their countries in AFCON, Pinnick pledged that CAF would legislate against European club sides.
The Super Eagles will leave Abuja on January 5 for Garoua, Cameroon, where they will face Egypt on January 11.