The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed appreciation to the Federal Government as well as the governments of Akwa Ibom, Edo and Lagos States for their immense contributions to the Super Eagles’ qualification for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals taking place in Cameroon.
Success in the qualifying race will see the three –time champions make their 19th appearance in the biggest football tournament on the African continent.
For the third consecutive major tournament, the Super Eagles qualified ahead of the final day of hostilities, this time with two matches to spare, doing better than even the one-match-to-spare accomplishments ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Captain Ahmed Musa and team mates dropped only four points from a possible 18 (draws at home and away to Sierra Leone) and never looked in danger of failing to reach Africa’s flagship tournament.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation and FIFA Council Member, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, said on Wednesday: “Our heartfelt appreciation goes to the Federal Government, right from His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. Without the total support and encouragement of the Government, it would not have been possible. Our appreciation also goes to all agencies of government who have been of help along the way.
“We are also very appreciative of the Chief of Staff to His Excellency Mr President. He has continued to be a pillar of support. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Nigeria Council for Disease Control provided huge assistance and guidance in a difficult period for the whole world; certainly, things would have been impossible without their understanding and co-operation.
“The Governments of Akwa Ibom, Delta, Edo and Lagos States played the role of good hosts to the Super Eagles before and during the campaign and were very magnanimous to the players and officials. The NFF is very, very grateful to them because without them, the task would have been close to insurmountable.”
The FIFA Council Member also gave kudos to the Federation’s partners and sponsors for their high level of commitment and belief in the NFF and the National Teams, while praising leading telecommunication firm MTN for their support for the Super Eagles’ boat ride to Porto Novo, Benin Republic, for Saturday’s penultimate qualifying game.
“We applaud our partners and sponsors for their faith in the various National Teams and their commitment to seeing the teams succeed. Coca-Cola, NIKE, Aiteo, Nigeria Breweries (Amstel Malta and 33 Export), GAC Motors, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, TVS, Peak Milk and Radio Brila all deserve our applause. MTN provided valuable support for the boat ride to Port Novo. The visibility, effervescence and keen interest of Corporate Nigeria in the National Teams make nonsense of unnecessary snide remarks from certain quarters. Whatever anyone may choose to say and their choice of language, the NFF is undeterred and will continue to drive its vision of building a sustainable football culture for our country.
“We commend the efforts of all Football Stakeholders and members of the Supporters Clubs.”