B; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos.
Barely few days after the draw for the World Cup 2018 qualifiers which saw Nigeria Supper Eagles grouped in group of death, President General of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr . Rafiu OLadipo has expressed hope that the Super Eagles will qualify for the mundial.
According to the indefatigable President, “our group is a group of death but as three-time African champions, no doubt that Zambia, Cameroon and Algeria are going to give us a good fight in group B.
“The Super Eagles tough qualifying group was not unexpected as they failed to be among the top five seeds for the draw caused by a poor FIFA ranking”.
He further explained that Nigeria will be under pressure to make it to Russia 2018 after they failed to qualify for next year’s AFCON in Gabon.
Prior to the draw, Nigeria were in pot two and knew they would meet a ‘power house’ from pot one.
Cameroun was the country drawn from pot three in Nigeria’s group while pot four supplied Zambia as the final group opponents for the Super Eagles.
Nigeria first reached the World Cup finals in 1994 in the United States where the Super Eagles produced some excellent performance to reach the second round where they were knocked out by Italy.
The country also qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France where they also reached the second round. In 2002 and 2010, Super Eagles sides, largely in transition failed to progress past the group stages.
Managed by late Coach, Stephen Keshi, Nigeria qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup where the team reached the second round and lost to France.
In an interview with NNSports, he noted that although the group is a difficult one, but experience has shown that the Super Eagles perform well when they are in difficult position even as he charged the NFF to immediately employ a Nigerian Coach with the necessary support to enable him succeed.
“It is true that we are in the group of death, but I am optimistic that once we do the right thing and appoint a Nigerian as a coach, we will qualify for the World Cup.
“There is the need for us to forget he internal wrangling that is threatening our football, do the right things and give whoever emerges as the new coach all the necessary support for him to succeed”, he concluded.
“People should also not forget that whenever Nigeria is in a difficult position, it comes out better and I such, I have no fear that we will be in Russia in 2018 and members of my club are eagerly awaiting the commencement of the qualifiers in October, to enable them go all out and support the team to victory”, Oladipo concluded.
World Cup qualifier: Oladipo tips Supper Eagles for Russia 2018
B; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos.