AFCON 2017: WADA declares Spain, Mexico non-compliant
BY JOE APU
THE hopes of Super Eagles caretaker coach, Samson Siasia to overrun the Pharaohs of Egypt on Friday at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna may just be an empty boast as Coach Hector Cuper has promised Nigeria a hard time and even put his job on the line.
According to ahram.com, the Egypt coach at a press conference on Sunday ahead of the clash had insisted there would not be a repeat of any humiliating defeats as they intended to give their best in the back-to-back AFCON 2017 matches.
“We can beat Nigeria and it’s impossible to repeat what happened against Ghana when the team lost 6-1,” Cuper told a news conference on Sunday.
“I usually don’t promise any certain outcomes but I’m confident that we are capable of overcoming Nigeria.”
He also said he did not mind being sacked if Egypt fail to overcome Nigeria.
“I have no problems with Egypt Football Association if they decided to terminate my contract.”
Egypt are leading Group G with six points from two victories over Chad and Tanzania, two ahead of second-placed Nigeria.
With only the group winners guaranteed automatic qualification for next year’s Nations Cup finals in Gabon, Egypt can move to within touching distance of ending a six-year absence from the biennial tournament by avoiding defeat against Nigeria.
“All people know the importance of Nigeria game and this is a double-edged weapon. If we win, that will be deemed a success and if we lose, we will be subjected to harsh comments and our work during the past period will be ruined,” Argentinean coach Cuper added.
“I have the utmost confidence in the abilities of my players.”
Cuper also commented on statements from Nigeria coach Samson Siasia that he was confident the Super Eagles would emerge winners.
“They are surely free to say that and we respect them, but such statements can never affect the morale of my players. Otherwise, we will not deserve to represent Egypt,” he said.
The former Valencia and Inter Milan boss also said he was pleased Ahly and Zamalek managed to qualify for the CAF Champions League round of 16 with easy wins, given that Egypt’s squad is mainly made up of players from the Cairo duo.