Nigeria: World Cup warning from Keshi
The Coach of the African Champions, Super Eagles of Nigeria has thrown out a warning to the African teams who would participate during the 2014 World cup in South Africa.
On defeating Burkina Faso during the 2013 AFCON finals in South Africa, it has been the teams football glory since 1994 and 1980 more for the team and the country’s joy was the victory they had in South Africa and been amongst the top five favourites of the tournament.
Going into the tournament, the Nigerians were considered as outsiders but with their conquest of Africa, Keshi feels that the continent’s attention would be firmly fixed on them.
Nigeria are drawn in Group F, comprising Namibia, Malawi and Kenya, who they open their campaign against on March 22 at the U.J Esuene Stadium in Calabar.
Coach Keshi has however during the week disclosed that he was not taking anything for granted when the race to qualify for the World Cup begins
‘The eyes of the continent would be fixed on us when the race to qualify for the 2014 World Cup starts next month..We are the African champions, so I expect that other teams would be bidding to get the better of us when they meet us. It is going to be tough race and I am wary of our opponents.
‘I believe that there are no longer minnows in football, so I expect stiff competition from our opponents. They deserve to be where they are now and the fact that we are the champions of Africa has made us the team that others want to beat. They know that if they defeat us that the world would notice them the more.
‘We are mindful of these things and are going to approach all the games with the highest sense of professionalism. It is not going to be easy but we are equal to the challenge and hope that at the end of the race that we would be the ones smiling’ , added Keshi, who is the only Nigerian coach to win the African Cup of Nations as a player and coach. He is also the second African to win the competition as a player and coach.
Mohammed El-Gohary, an Egyptian, is the other African, who won the competition, as a coach and player, with the same national team.
Nigeria is looking forward to the 2014 World Cup qualifications.