The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Sunday Dare on Wednesday charged the new Head Coach of Super Eagles, José Santos Peseiro to make the squad a blend of the very best of professional players based at home and abroad.
He said the ministry will assist in the rebuilding process by providing a conducive environment for the Portuguese to use his best efforts and endeavour to restore the confidence of football-loving Nigerians and the government in the Super Eagles.
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At a brief ceremony in Abuja, where the NFF formally presented Peseiro to the government of Nigeria through the Sports Ministry, Dare told the gaffer in no uncertain terms that Nigerians want their national teams to win every game, even though this is an impossibility in sport.
“Whenever the team does not win, it must be clearly seen to have demonstrated high-level commitment, fervour, consistency and discipline on and off the pitch.
“In order to be able to appreciate the deep love of our people for the game and why they want their team to win all the time, you have to live in our country, enjoy our food, our weather, our hospitality.
“I want to let you know that the process that produced you was governed by diligence, commitment and spirit of teamwork, and indeed very thorough. I believe that you will use this opportunity to make a mark by leading the Super Eagles to new heights.”
The Minister then told Peseiro to ensure a solid win for the Super Eagles against the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in Abuja on Thursday, in a Day 1 encounter of the qualification series for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Earlier, NFF 2nd Vice President Shehu Dikko, who stood in for President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, reiterated that the Portuguese ticked all the boxes for the Federation having coached in four continents, worked with big clubs and big players and demonstrated a keen desire to work with the Super Eagles.
Peseiro, on his part, thanked the government and people of Nigeria for the opportunity to tinker the Super Eagles, and said he is fully committed to the objective of winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire next year summer.
“I have always loved the Nigeria team, ever since I watched them play at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States.
“It is a team with a solid pedigree. Presently, we have both quality and quantity of players and it is always a good situation for any team.”