Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) secretary-general, Dr Sanusi Mohammed has expressed delight with the ability of the under-23 national team, Olympic Eagles to qualify for this year’s African championship in Egypt, as he says it has maintained the country’s tradition of reaching every possible competition its various squads have competed for since 2017.
He noted with satisfaction that the team’s qualification for the Tokyo 2020 qualifying event, with a mammoth 5-0 spanking of Sudan at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, and 5-1 aggregate win, means all of Nigeria’s squads have made it to every major championship in Africa and the world over the past 18 months.
The NFF scribe added that Tuesday’s feat in qualifying for the third edition of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations was another step forward in the impressive streak of Nigeria’s national teams in qualifying for major competitions, and went on to exude hope that the squad will go on to retain their continental title and qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in November.
While reeling out the long line of championships the Nigerian teams have already qualified for over the past months, the NFF scribe also look ahead at upcoming events and assured that the soccer governing body is alive to its responsibilities and will continue providing the best support and preparations that will ensure the squads keep shining and bring more honour to the country.
Sanusi declared: “The last Nigeria team to fail to qualify for a major competition was the U17 girls, when they lost to Cameroon on the away goal rule in January 2018, in the final qualifying round for the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.
“Since then, the Super Eagles have played at the FIFA World Cup in Russia; the Falconets have played at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in France; the Golden Eaglets have won the WAFU Cup in Niger Republic; the Super Falcons played at and won the Women AFCON in Ghana and; the Super Sand Eagles qualified for the FIFA Beach World Cup from the African finals in Egypt.
“The Flying Eagles qualified for the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland; the Golden Eaglets have qualified for the FIFA U17 World Cup taking place in Brazil later this year and; the Super Eagles have played at the biggest –ever AFCON and came back home with the bronze medals.
“Apart from the U23 AFCON in Egypt, we have the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil; the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Paraguay and; the WAFU Nations Cup in Senegal. We also have the 2021 AFCON qualifiers and the CHAN 2020 qualifiers, and the Super Falcons are in the race for the ticket to next year’s Olympics women’s football tournament.
“We have all these matches and championships in focus. Our objective is to ensure quality preparation for each of the teams involved in order that they will be good ambassadors of our nation both on and off the pitches in all these programmes.”