By Albert Akota
The Chairman Technical Committee of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Barrister Chris Green has emphatically said the federation is firmly behind the technical crew of the Golden Eaglets in the bid to build a virile team capable of defending the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.
Speaking with the team’s officials during a brief meeting at the Glass House in Abuja on Tuesday, Green said he was impressed with the progress made so far in grooming a new team even as he called for equity and fair play in selection of players.
“Frankly, I don’t envy your jobs because you cannot afford to fail,” said Green.”The truth is that Nigerians expect so much from you because we are the defending champions at this level, you must ensure that only the best players are picked.”
Green said the NFF deliberately left behind some officials from the 2013 World Cup-winning team for the sake of continuity as such; they must be guided with the benefit of hindsight when selecting the players.
“Some of you were part of the last team and we want you to use such experience in building the new team that Nigerians would be proud of,” added Green.
Similar message was impressed upon the technical crew in another separate meeting with Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, NFF’s Director Technical and Mr. Siji Lagunju, the Chief Technical Officer of the NFF
Ikpeme said the present crew can follow THE prototype that delivered a record fourth FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2013, adding that the NFF would do everything to ensure a success campaign.
On both occasions, Golden Eaglets’ Head coach, Emmanuel Amuneke reiterated his commitment to the job even as he solicited for maximum support.
“What we owe the federation is honesty and hard work and we are doing this job without fear or favour of anybody,” said the former African Footballer of the Year.” We know the huge expectations of Nigerians and the NFF; and I want to assure you that we are going to give this job our best.”
Amuneke, who is expected to draw a list of players for the next stage of the selection process, said only the best players would be picked as the team continue its build up for its second round qualifier against the winner of the first round qualifier between Burundi and Congo in July.