The Nigeria Football Federation 2nd Vice-President, Mallam Shehu Dikko has backed the Super Eagles to excel at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted in Egypt later this year.
Dikko who is also the chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) organizers of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) exclusively told DiegwuSports.com that the NFF will do everything possible to give the team the best preparations ahead of the tournament.
‘We have a very good team, our players are also doing well in their club sides and they know what it takes to play at the Nations Cup. There is also an extra desire to excel by the players because they haven’t played in the last two editions, so they want to go there and prove a point.’
‘On our part as an administration, we will make sure we give them one of the best preparations, we have already started by the Egypt friendly, the most prestigious team in Africa and also the host country. It shows we are committed towards giving them the best preparation’
Dikko went on to back Gernot Rhor’s (head coach) decision of few players from the NPFL but didn’t rule out the possibility of having more home based players in the final squad for the AFCON.
‘Of course they can be more NPFL players in the final list for tournament. They problem is that many home based players are always on the move to Europe to get clubs hence they are not stable. Take for example we brought in Adeleye for the last match and now he is in Europe searching for a club. This makes it hard for the coach to have continuity.’
‘People keep referring to 2013 when Keshi selected several home based players for the tournament but we forget that Keshi had a lot training camps for the home based players who on their part were not in a hurry to move to Europe. This made it easier for the coach back then. The same can’t be said for Rhor.’
Nigeria will on Tuesday continue its preparation for the 2019 AFCON on Tuesday when it faces 7 time African Champions and hosts Egypt in an international friendly at the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba. Kickoff is 4pm.