BY MONICA IHEAKAM
FORMER Super Eagles Coach Austin Eguavoen is exuding confidence on Nigeria’s chances of berthing in Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, even as the Confederation of African Football (CAF) is getting set for the continents qualifying tournament draw on Friday in Cairo, Egypt.
The ex -international admonished that there is no need for jittery nerves , insisting that the Eagles are among the best teams in the world and is instinctively gifted to rise to challenges and triumph .
He, however, advised that the players should be invited to prosecute the qualifying tournament to ensure that the ticket to the 2018 mundial in Russia is well secured for Nigeria.
“Nigerian players right from our days in the national team always rises to the occasion when it matters most, that I can assure”, Equavoen began.
“There is no need to fear at all be- cause we are among the best and it is important that the best players are brought in to execute the qualifiers because Nigeria’s participation at the 2018 FIFA World Cup is non negotiable” , he told football live.ng. 45th in the world and fifth on the continent behind Algeria, Cote d’ Ivoire, Ghana and Senegal.The seven-time African Cup of Nations winners toppled their norther counterparts, Tunisia to move to the fifth spot. All the top five countries on the continent would be seeded for the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers draw on Friday.
20 teams would be drawn into five groups of four teams each to play on home and away basis from October 2016 to November 2017 with the overall winners advancing to the World Cup. The qualifiers include Algeria,Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Mali, Guinea, Cape Verde and Cameroon.
Nigeria have qualified for five World Cups previously – 1994, 1998, 2002, 2010 and 2014.