Pinnick says S’African loss history, explains new goalkeeper trainer


Adeyinka Akintunde

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has said everything is set for the Super Eagles to secure at least four points in the double-header 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier slated for September against Cameroon, reports.

Pinnick said that all that is needed now is for Nigerians to support the team with prayer and encouragement, as the country hopes to fly its flag at the Mundial.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Wednesday, Pinnick said, “The defeat to South Africa is history now. I received it with a sense of philosophical calmness. The moment we were thinking that the Eagles were in high spirit, we experienced that loss. But the good thing is that we have immediately addressed some issues, and that’s why there is a new goalkeeper trainer in the team, as well as work in other departments.

He added, “We have already booked the flight that will take the Eagles to Yaoundé, after the match in Uyo; accommodation is ready and other logistics. We only appeal for support from Nigerians.”

Explaining why Gernot Rohr brought in an Italian as goalkeeper trainer in spite Alloy Agu already in the team for the same purpose, Pinnick said, “Two good heads are better than one, which was why we agreed to have an expatriate goalkeeper trainer. We are not undermining anyone.”

The NFF President pleaded with the club owners and officials to bear with the federation, and consider making a national sacrifice in releasing players for the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers against Benin Republic.

“We appeal to clubs that have players in CHAN Eagles to see this as sacrifice in the interest of the nation; this is a passionate appeal.

“The League has done so well in producing these players. Let them go and showcase themselves at the CHAN level.”

Speaking on officiating in the local league, Pinnick said “I think we are getting there. I will rate the officiating of this season higher than last term, and I also have a dream of having a Nigerian Referee officiate a FIFA World Cup Match.”

The Home-Based Eagles are currently camping in Kano ahead of the match against the Squirrels on August 13 at the Mathieu Kérékou Stadium with the second leg tie a week later at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.