Former international, Joe Erico has warned the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) against underrating Super Eagles next opponent in the Cameroun 2019 African Nations Cup qualifying series, Seychelles, saying treating the lowly rated country with kid gloves could cost the country a ticket to the competition.
Nigeria lost its first match in the qualifying series 2-0 to South Africa in Uyo in June last year and needs a convincing victory over Seychelles to resuscitate its hopes of being in Cameroun next year.
It is less than one month to the match slated for September 8 in Seychelles and Erico, a former Nigerian national team goalkeeper, told The Guardian at the weekend that the NFF’s body language doesn’t portray the country as working to be prepared for the encounter.
He admits that the lingering leadership crisis at the Glass House and Coach Salisu Yusuf’s bribery scandal could be affecting the country’s preparations for the game, adding, however, that the federation would not have any defence if the country failed to qualify for the third consecutive Nations Cup.
He said, “it is worrisome that there are no clearly laid out plans for the 2019 Nations Cup qualifier early next month. The NFF should not allow the crisis in the federation to affect the Eagles chances of qualifying for the Nations Cup.
“I don't know why the NFF is not saying anything yet on the Nations Cup qualifier, which is not too far from now.
The only thing that might save the Eagles is that the players would be taking part in club assignments in Europe, which might help them to be fit for the game, but the team needs to blend well for the qualifier.
“Having lost the first game against South Africa, it would be disastrous to lose the second on against Seychelles. Underrating Seychelles could be a costly mistake,” he said.