Commends Aspire Football Dream project
BY JOE APU
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has assured that the Super Eagles would prepare well for the October 9 battle of Ndola against Zambia.
The encounter is one which both Zambia and Nigeria would do everything to win, in a bid to make a good start in a group that also has Algeria and Cameroon.
Zambia last week called up 33 players to camp ahead of the tie, while Super Eagles German coach, Gernot Rohr invited 23 players who are to start camping in Abuja from October 2.
NFF’s image maker, Demola Olajire who spoke in Lagos on the World Cup qualifier said the soccer federation is not bothered by how Zambia is preparing, but is rather focusing attention on the Eagles and how to leave Ndola unscathed.
“The NFF is committed to Nigeria qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The board is not bothered about Zambia’s preparations. Everyone understands that they will be ready for Nigeria. What the NFF is doing is to concentrate on the Super Eagles, to ensure the team prepares well and hit Ndola battle ready.”
Meanwhile, Mainz’s defender Leon Balogun could miss the Zambia, Nigeria clash after suffering an injury against Bayern Leverkusen on Saturday.
Balogun who was named in the Bundesliga team of the week last week, was replaced in the ninth minute of the encounter after a suspected hamstring injury.
He is expected to undergo a scan in the coming days to determine the extent of the injury and how long he stays on the sidelines.
Coach Gernot Rohr could be forced to name a replacement for the defender.
Olajire who represented the NFF at the final of the 10th edition of the Aspire Football Dreams Top 50 Camp in Lagos over the weekend gave kudos to the organizers of the grassroots project.
He said that the soccer federation is happy to partner with the programme noting that it has helped a lot of kids since inception.
“The NFF is proud to partner with the Aspire Football Dreams project and happy with the opportunities it has provided Nigerian kids. Col. Sam Ahmedu and his AFD staff have done well to keep the programme running. Nigeria has benefitted from players they have produced. Their efforts are commendable,” Olajire said.