President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari has expressed optimism that the Super Eagles will go ahead and qualify for the knock –out stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, despite Monday’s scoreless draw with Iran in Curitiba.
The African champions huffed and puffed throughout but failed to get the needed goal to claim three points, despite dominating for large periods.
“I remain optimistic and confident that the Eagles will still qualify. Certainly, the government and people of Nigeria were expecting victory in this game, but that is football for you.
“I have spoken with the Head Coach and he knows as well that victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina is non–negotiable. The team will do what is necessary to earn the three points and then face with Argentina with courage,” Maigari said on board the TAM Air flight that brought the NFF delegation back to Sao Paulo after the match.
Argentina now top Group F with three points while Nigeria lie second with Iran on one point each, and the Bosnians bottom without a point.
“I want our people to remain strong behind the team and continue to support the players and technical crew with their prayers. The tournament is just starting, and the team has also seen this match as a wake-up call.”
Victory against pointless Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cuiaba on Saturday will take the Super Eagles to four points, and a probable place in the Round of 16, as Argentina are most likely to defeat Iran the same day in Belo Horizonte.
And in a related development, NFF has blasted a report insinuating rift between the Federation and players of the Super Eagles on appearance monies and bonuses at the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
NFF spokesman, Ademola Olajire dismissed the report which suggested that Senate President, Distinguished Senator David Mark (GCON) blamed the NFF leadership for holding onto the players’ money, as low-quality fiction.