NFF President Amaju Pinnick has charged the Super Eagles B and the Golden Eaglets to give Nigerians plenty to smile about this weekend when they confront oppositions of varying shapes in two very important matches.
The Super Eagles B confront Burkina Faso’s Etalons in a 2016 African Nations Championship final qualifying round, first leg match at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium in Port Harcourt on Saturday afternoon. Hours after, the Golden Eaglets and the U-17 National Team of United States of America will do battle in the opening match of the 16th FIFA U-17 World Cup finals in Santiago.
Pinnick said: “It is a very important weekend for Nigeria football, and I call on the Super Eagles B and the Golden Eaglets to rise to the occasion. On our part, the NFF has given all the necessary support and is ready to provide even more support to ensure that the two teams do the nation proud in a great way.
“The Eaglets know that our country is the defending champion of the U-17 World Cup, and that is a big motivation in itself. They are challenged to give their very best. The home –based senior boys also realize that Nigeria cannot afford to miss the African Nations Championship coming up in Rwanda, having finished third at the last championship.”
Pinnick called on the two teams to strive for handsome wins that will almost guarantee further progress.
“The Eaglets must win in Santiago for three valuable points that will put them in good stead for qualification to the Round of 16, while the Eagles will ensure a comfortable second leg in Ouagadougou by winning very well in Port Harcourt,” Pinnick told thenff.com after speaking with Coach Emmanuel Amuneke in Santiago and Coach Salisu Yusuf in Port Harcourt on Friday.
Bronze medallists at the last African Nations Championship in South Africa, the Eagles B confront Burkina Faso’s Etalons at the Adokiye Amiesiamaka Stadium, for a place in Rwanda. Warri Wolves’ ace forward Gbolahan Salami will captain the home -boys in Saturday’s encounter.
The Eaglets begin their defence of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a match against USA in Santiago. The champions spend 10 days at a final training camp in Buenos Aires, Argentina before flying into the Chilean capital on Tuesday.
Already, football’s world –governing body FIFA has selected German Deniz Aytekin as referee for the match, which starts at 9pm Nigeria time. Aytekin’s compatriots Guido Kleve and Markus Haecker are assistants referee 1 and 2, while Martin Strombergsson from Sweden will be fourth official.
In Port Harcourt, Angolan official Boubou Traore will be referee, with his countrymen Baba Yomboliba, Boubacar Kinta and Harouna Coulibaly as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and reserve referee respectively. Angolan Pedro de Morais Neto will be match commissioner.