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NFF officials panic as Nigeria prepare for Tanzania test

 

The fear of a possible exit from the qualifying series of the France 2024 Olympic Games has gripped officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), as the National U-23 team face Tanzania this weekend, in the return leg of African zone of the qualifiers. The match will hold at the Lekan Salami Stadium, Ibadan.

Though, the Nigerian side, led by coach Yusuf Salisu, were forced to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Tanzania, some officials of the NFF are afraid that anything can happen in Ibadan. The winners in this return leg will qualify for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations holding in Morocco next year.

Cup of Nations holding in Morocco next year.

Coming on the heels of the country’s semifinal defeat at the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup in India, an NFF official told The Guardian, yesterday, that the ‘usual poor tactics and uncoordinated’ pattern of football displayed by Nigerian national teams in recent times should be a cause for concern to everyone.

“Ordinarily, our team has an advantage having secured a 1-1 draw away in Tanzania. But nobody wants to bank on that until the job is done. I still remember what happened to the Super Eagles in Abuja during the World Cup qualifiers against the Black Stars of Ghana. The same thing happened to the Super Falcons at the African Women’s Nations Cup in Morocco. The Flamingos raised our hopes in India after beating the United States in the quarterfinal,” the official said.

FORMER Golden Eaglets coach, Nduka Ugbade, has warned the players not to underestimate their opponents.

Speaking with sports247, yesterday, Ugbade admitted that the Tanzanian team is not a threat to Nigeria, warning, however, that they must not be underrated.

“Obviously, Tanzania are not our rival, as far as football is concerned in Africa, but the players should not be too complacent against their opponents. They should go out there and make the country proud. We had a good result in the first leg and they should make sure that they win in Ibadan.

“They should take their chances and possibly bury the match in the first half. It would be a disaster if we fail to qualify for U-23 Africa Cup of Nations at the end of the second leg,” Ugbade said.

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