The General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has charged players of the U20 National Team, Flying Eagles, to take to heart the virtues of discipline, dedication and commitment as they head to Niger Republic for the 21st Africa U20 Cup of Nations kicking off on Saturday.
Speaking during a visit to the team’s training session in Abuja on Wednesday, Sanusi harped on the importance of imbibing enviable character traits that will take the players to the top faster than even their abilities on the field of play.
“Discipline and character are values that you must not take for granted. You may be the best player in the world, but without discipline nd character, you would sooner find yourself on the scrap heap. Stories of exceptional talents who wasted away before they could climb successfully to the top, as a result of indiscipline, abound. I pray that your story will not be like any of those.
“You are bearing the high expectations of 180 million Nigerians on your lean shoulders, but you cannot afford to fail. You are Ambassadors of our great country and good character and discipline are key in everything you do in Niger Republic and thereafter.”
Sanusi assured the players that the Federation would do everything necessary to support the team to achieve its targets of World Cup ticket and AFCON title at the continental houseparty.
“The NFF would do everything it can to support you from every front, and I can assure you that your qualification bonus would be ready for you once you earn the FIFA World Cup ticket.
“Football is the biggest unifying factor globally. Please have that in your mind as you go that the whole country is behind you and will be backing you to conquer.”
Seven –time champions Nigeria will confront host nation Niger Republic, South Africa and Burundi in Group A of the eight –nation tournament, taking place 2nd – 17th February. The Flying Eagles take on Burundi in their first match of the championship in Niamey on Saturday night.
The Flying Eagles’s delegation to the 21st Africa Cup of Nations will depart the country on Thursday morning, to arrive in Niamey in the afternoon.