NFF Canvasses Support for Flying Eagles

Posted: July 31, 2012 in Sports

The Nigeria Football Federation has called on Nigerians to fully
support the U-20 National Team, Flying Eagles, as the team has shown commitment to qualifying for the 2013 African Youth Championship to be hosted by Algeria.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Chairman of NFF’s Media and Publicity Committee, High Chief Emeka Inyama urged ball fans to forgive the team for a poor outing at the Cape Town International Challenge at the end of May and the defeat by Rwanda’s U-20 Team in an international friendly in Kigali on Tuesday last week.

“I was not happy with the team when it lost all three matches at the Cape Town International Challenge,” said Inyama, who was leader of delegation to that invitational tournament. “And I made it clear to the Head Coach, his crew and the players that Nigerians would be angry with them.

“However, after losing to Rwanda, the team has realized the enormity of the task before it and this clearly reflected in the way and manner they charged at their Tanzanian hosts and scored two goals before the hosts could not score one.

“It is now contingent upon us all – NFF, ball fans and the generality
of Nigerians – to forget what has happened of recent and give the team full backing for the challenges ahead.”

Inyama charged ardent football fans to be at the Ilorin Township
Stadium on Sunday, 12th August to cheer the Flying Eagles when they take on Tanzania’s Ngorogoro Heroes in the return leg of their 2013 African Youth Championship fixture.

“We cannot afford to rest on our oars and think that the fixture is
over, simply because we won the first leg. It is important to to stay focused and for Nigerians to get behind the team full steam.

“We have to remember that the Flying Eagles remain one of our most successful National Teams in history, winning six African titles and two runners-up positions at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, as well as bronze from the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Surely, the team will take shape and qualify to defend the African title in Algeria,” said Inyama.

The NFF Executive Committee member also believes in the ability of Head Coach John Obuh to turn the team around and make champions of the players.

“Obuh is a good Coach, no doubt. He led the U-17 team to runner-up position in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Nigeria 2009, led the Flying Eagles to win the African Youth Championship and to reach the quarter-finals at the World Cup in Colombia last year.

We believe he can lead the team not only to retain the title in Algeria but also to make better impact at the FIFA U-20 World Cup finals in Turkey next
year.”

The Flying Eagles are reigning champions of Africa following triumph at the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa.

Coach John Obuh and wards are expected back in the country on
Wednesday afternoon aboard a RwandAir Airline flight that will fly into Lagos from Kigali, with the team scheduled to leave for Ilorin on Thursday to intensify preparation for the return leg match.

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