Lagos, Sept. 3, 2017 (TNE) : Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has called for greater passion and commitment from the Super Eagles as the Nigerian delegation to Monday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match landed in Yaounde on Sunday afternoon.
Mr Ademola Olajire, Director Media and Communications, NFF said the team arrived in Yaounde on board a chartered ARIK Bombadier Jet CRJ 1000 that flew from Uyo and arrived in Yaounde.
Olajire said in a statement that, the Nigerian delegation touched down at the Aeroport Nsimalen-Yaounde at about 1.27pm, and Pinnick again told the players not to take their feet off the pedal as the race to Russia continues apace on Monday at the Stade Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo.
“The Cameroonians will come at us with everything on Monday, knowing they have to get a result and with anger borne out of their humiliation in Uyo.
“ That is why we cannot afford to relax yet. On Monday, you must play with even greater passion and show even more spirit than you did in Uyo to come out with a result here.
“The ticket to Russia from Africa Group B appears to be taking on the green-white-green colour already, but we must not relent. We must fight hard for every ball for the 90 minutes.” Pinnick said.
On board the chartered ARIK Bombadier Jet CRJ 1000 that flew from Uyo and arrived in Yaounde after 55 minutes were 23 players and technical and backroom staff, Pinnick, NFF vice presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, NFF Executive Committee members Chris Green, Mohammed Alkali, Chidi Ofo Okenwa and Aisha Falode, some
members of the NFF Management led by Deputy General Secretary Emmanuel Ikpeme, Akwa Ibom FA chairman Emmanuel Iba, some football stakeholders and representatives of the media.
They were received on arrival by the Ambassador of Nigeria to Cameroon, His Excellency Lawal Gashagar, NFF Executive Committee member Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (who was part of a three –man advance party), Consul Olajide Ogunmadeji, leader of Cameroon’s delegation to Nigeria for the first match Tado Oumarou and some officials of FECAFOOT.
The Super Eagles and their officials are staying at the Hilton Honours Yaounde, with the team set to have the official training at the Stade Omnisports Ahmadou Ahidjo by 6pm.
Meanwhile, Skipper Mikel John Obi was in a buoyant spirit as the Super Eagles arrived in Yaounde, saying: ”We are just very keen to finish what we started. We started a job in Uyo and it is time to finish it. If we can pick the World Cup ticket by Monday, why wait any longer?
“We are all very confident, because we know our ability and what we are ready to bring to the party.”
Nigeria achieved its highest win ever over Cameroon with the massive thumping of the Lions on Friday, and Mikel is aware the wounded Lions will want to salvage some pride.
“We are as hungry, perhaps even more hungry than they are. It will be a tough affair but we will give our very best to take the three points.”
Nigeria could become the first African team to earn a slot in Russia as early as Tuesday (next 48 hours) if they defeat the Cameroonians on Monday in Yaounde and Zambia fail to beat Algeria at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida on Tuesday.
Technical Adviser Gernot Rohr has 23 very fit players to select from, with goalkeepers Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Dele Ajiboye and Dele Alampasu, defenders Uche Agbo, Abdullahi Shehu, Elderson Echiejile, Ola Aina, Leon Balogun, William Ekong, Tyronne Ebuehi and Chidozie Awaziem, midfielders Mikel Obi, Ogenyi Onazi, John Ogu, Wilfred
Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo and Mikel Agu, and forwards Ahmed Musa, Victor Moses, Odion Ighalo, Moses Simon, Anthony Nwakaeme and Kelechi Iheanacho making the trip.
At the Hilton Hotel on Sunday to receive the Nigerian team was Cameroon’s Minister of Sport, Bidoung Mpaktt, who chatted briefly with NFF President Amaju Pinnick.
FIFA has appointed respected Senegalese official Bakary Papa Gassama as the referee for Monday’s encounter, to be assisted by Jean Claude Birumushahu from Burundi (Assistant 1), Marwa Aden Range from Kenya (Assistant 2) and Maudo Jallow from Gambia (Reserve Referee). Osama Ataa Elmanan Hassan from Sudan will be match commissioner at the game kicking off 6pm. (TNE)