Amaju Pinnick, the head of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), was bullish about his country’s World Cup chances in Russia next year. He told CNN that he believes Nigeria is ready to put up a good showing at the tournament.
Last Friday’s draw pitted the Super Eagles in a tough group against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland. But Pinnick sees Nigeria going far in the tournament despite having lost to Argentina on five previous World Cup outings at the group stages.
Watch the interview below:
"In Nigeria we always believe, and once we believe, we conquer"
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) December 4, 2017
Pinnick thinks Nigeria and the other African qualifiers Senegal, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco could go beyond the World Cup quarter finals for the first time for an African team this time around. The African football confederation (CAF) will provide $500,000 for each of the African teams to help them prepare for the tournament and ensure the African teams make as much progress as possible.
The NFF boss’s confidence comes from the fact that Nigeria has already beaten Argentina this year in friendly in Russia. He also stressed that there are no “minnows” in world football today, adding that the likes of Victor Moses at Chelsea, Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane are critical players for their clubs and will be key to Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal’s drive for an extended stay in Russia next year.