Sports Minister Holds Meeting with NFF, Peseiro Over AFCON Plans

Posted on December 7, 2023

ALABI AGBOOLA 

The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh convened a high-level meeting on Wednesday morning, with the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Coach of the Super Eagles, Jose Peseiro to deliberate on strategic plans and preparations towards the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The collaborative session, held at the Minister’s office in Abuja, focused on fostering synergy and solidifying a comprehensive roadmap to ensure optimal preparations and success for the Nigerian national football team at the highly anticipated tournament.

Senator Enoh reiterated Government’s unwavering support for Nigerian football and emphasized the significance of meticulous planning and cohesive strategies to propel the national team to victory at the AFCON.

“Our country is so passionate about football, such that amidst all other sports, football is about the only sport that has an entry in the nation’s national budget,” the Minister said. “That is how important football is, because whatever happens to it, happens to us as a country.”

 

“After 10 years, the country is thirsty to win the AFCON. It will matter a great deal to the Nigerian people, and to the Government of President Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. It is important to not just leave the task to the NFF alone, but the Government is also interested in being able to tell the Nigerian people what is being done in that regard,” Senator Enoh added.

He stated that the AFCON represents a pivotal opportunity for the national team to showcase its strength and resilience on the continental stage. The meeting underscores the Ministry’s commitment to providing all necessary support and resources to ensure Super Eagles’ readiness and competitiveness at the tournament.

Speaking at the meeting, NFF president, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau assured Nigerians that there is no need to panic, as all hands are on deck, working round the clock to ensure the country flies high at the AFCON in Cote d’Ivoire.

He added that the NFF is committed to making sure the country performs well at the championship.

Super Eagles gaffer, Coach Jose Peseiro conveyed his appreciation for the collaborative efforts and reiterated his commitment to steering the Nigerian national team towards excellence.

He highlighted the significance of robust preparation and emphasized that the technical crew will work with the players to sort out grey areas and bring joy to Nigerians.

The Minister commended the dedication and professionalism exhibited by Coach Peseiro and the NFF, stating that necessary efforts are ongoing to settle outstanding issues with the coach and assured him of an enabling environment to help the team thrive.

As the tournament draws nearer, Senator Enoh assured football enthusiasts of the Government’s continuous support and urged Nigerians to rally behind the national team as they prepare to compete at the highest level of African football.

The NFF delegation at the meeting also included 1st Vice President, Felix Anyansi-Agwu, General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Technical Director, Augustine Eguaveon, Chairman, Technical Committee, Sharif Inuwa and Director of international competitions, Dayo Enebi.

The tourney will be held in Côte D’Ivoire between January 13 – February 11, as Nigeria battles Côte D’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau in the group stage.

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