From Olanrewaju Lawal, Birini- Kebbi
Former Super Eagles goals stopper, Peter Rufai has advised Nigerians not to panic about the latest FIFA rankings of the national team.
The Super Eagles had dropped from 50th positions in the world to 51 and 9th in Africa despite impressive performances and had been the first African team to qualify for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Rufai, while speaking with newsmen yesterday at the Haliru Abdu Stadium, Birnin-Kebbi during the closing ceremony of the U-20 Dodo Mayana Soccerthon where eight teams participated, noted that the ranking should not demoralize the team and the technical crew.
“I think the FIFA ranking has nothing to do with expectations of the performance of Super Eagle in any competition. The ranking involved some technical aspects. It has nothing to do with our performance. Because, Super Eagle is doing very well, they are performing excellently. I agree that this ranking is not good enough if we consider how we have played with the best teams in world then you begin to wonder what the bases are. All that matters is our preparation for any competition.
“Nigerians should not worry about the FIFA ranking because before ranking, Super Eagle had qualified for the World Cup before most of the best ranked teams in the world. I believe what matters most now is to be focused. Looking ahead, one day, we would break the jinx again just like how we had qualified before most of these best ranked African teams.”
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State who witnessed the closing ceremony of the four-day tournament disclosed that his administration has plans to construct four different stadia in Yauri, Zuru, Argungu and Birnin-Kebbi as part of measure to develop sports and encourage youth participation.
He urged the selected players who are to form Kebbi Utd first team and feeder’s to be disciplined, hardworking, saying they should not allow unproductive friends to discourage them from attaining success.
The Governor also promised that his administration would renovate Haliru Abdu stadium and continue to empower youths in various aspects of life.