NFF Inspects Uyo Stadium For AFCON Qualifying Matches

Federation Cup, NFFAn inspection team led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation Technical and Development Committee, Barrister Chris Green, has expressed satisfaction with the current state of the playing turf of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.

The stadium is slated to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier between Nigeria and South Africa in eight weeks time.

Green, alongside NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme inspected the magnificent facility, nicknamed “Nest of Champions” which hosted the 2017 AFCON qualifier between the Super Eagles and Tanzania in September 2016, as well as the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying battle between the Eagles and the Fennecs of Algeria five months ago.

“We are delighted with the state of the playing turf and other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, I can tell you that the pitch is just as it was when the Super Eagles played Algeria in the World Cup qualifier in November 2016.

“The fact that Julius Berger has also started some work on the turf is even more re-assuring. They are adding manure, and afterwards will do cutting and rolling, and they have the benefit of the weather at this period. By the time we host South Africa on June 10, the pitch will be one of the very best anywhere in Africa”, he said.

The visit to the capital of Akwa Ibom state was to ascertain the condition of the playing pitch and indeed other facilities at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, as well as the level of commitment of the State Government to hosting the big match.

After the inspection, the team reported, “Every inch of the field is covered by grass and the grass is lush green. Julius Berger (the company that built the stadium) has commenced work on the field for the purpose of bringing it to the best standard possible.

“Every other facility is in good condition. The condition of the field, as it is now, is good enough for matches to be played on it.

“The Akwa Ibom State Government has continued to show desire and commitment to hosting the match.

“However, in order to maintain the lush green state of the pitch, the inspection team has advised that no activity be carried out on it until ongoing work is completed and the 2019 AFCON qualifier between the Eagles and the Bafana Bafana is played”.

The “Nest of Champions” will also play host to the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches between the Super Eagles and Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions on August 2017 and between the Super Eagles and the Chipolopolo of Zambia on October 2017.

Rohr Explains Super Eagles Chances Of Beating Zambia

Gernot-Rohr-Super-Eagles-CoachThe Super Eagles Coach, Mr Gernot Rohr, has assured Nigerians that the team is more than ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification encounter against the Chipolopolo of Zambia on Sunday.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Friday, the Coach said the Zambians were a good side with aging players while the Super Eagles had a lot of young players who knew the importance of playing in a World Cup.

On the chances of the Super eagles winning the qualifier match, He said: ” I think this game will be a focus and an important game against the good team.

“They want to win. They missed AFCON. The same motivation with our motivation but our motivation can be bigger because I feel that the team wants absolutely to win the game.” coach Rohr stated.

We Must Be Careful

 

He believes that the target of the team is to be at the World Cup in Zambia and is confident that the poor nature of the pitch in Zambia will not be ‎a hindrance to achieving this dream.

The coach, however, stressed the need for players to avoid costly mistakes that could give Zambia an upper hand.

“We must be careful. When you want to win the game away. Sometimes you forget to defend well.

“We must be careful and don’t make this mistake,” he emphasised.

The Super Eagles are due to travel to Zambia on Saturday ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Chipolopolo‎.

Super-Eagles-Press-Conference
Coach Gernot Rohr and some Super Eagles team members

Also at the press conference was the captain of the team, Mikel Obi.

He says the team is ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Chipolopolo of Zambia in Ndola.

But stressed the need for the team to play with one heart.

Nigeria has won six of 16 previous matches with Zambia at international level, drawing five and losing five.

Mikel-Obi

And captain of the side, Mikel says they are committed to improving Nigeria’s superior record against Zambia at senior international level.

Nigeria play Zambia away on Sunday and host Algeria on November 12 before four more games in 2017.

Meanwhile, Zambia are leaving nothing to chance to record their first win over Nigeria since 1985 after they appointed experienced David Kabwe as consultant to coach Wedson Nyirenda.

Leon Balogun Says Eagles Can Qualify For 2018 World Cup

Leon Balogun, Super Eagles, World CupSuper Eagles defender, Leon Balogun, believes Nigeria will book a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

He says although the round to qualification might be tough he also noted that it is the hard road that leads to success.

He, however, wants the team to take every opportunity at their disposal to ensure they book a spot at the world’s most prestigous tournament.

The 3-time African champions have been drawn in what is seen as a tough group that parades Algeria, Cameroon and Zambia.

The team will open their campign on October 3 away to the Chipolopolo of Zambia.

Group A has Tunisia, Libya, RDC and Guinea while Group C has Gabon, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco.

Group D has Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde while Group E has Ghana, Egypt, Congo and Uganda.

World Cup Qualifier: Nigeria In Tough Group B

World Cup Nigeria in qualifierNigeria has been placed in a tough group for the qualifiers of the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The Super Eagles were drawn in Group B alongside former African champions, Chipolopolo of Zambia, long-time rivals Indomitable Lions of Cameroon and Africa’s top team, Algeria at the just concluded draws in Cairo, Egypt.

Other groups, Group A has Tunisia, Libya, RDC and Guinea while Group C has Gabon, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco.

Group D has Senegal, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Cape Verde while Group E has Ghana, Egypt, Congo and Uganda.