Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Maigari - Keshi, Eagles Need Encouragement

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari yesterday urged football fans and the generality of Nigerians to keep encouraging and supporting the re-building process of Super Eagles' Head Coach, Mr. Stephen Keshi.

Seven months into a four-year tenure in which he has been mandated to qualify Nigeria for the 2013 African Cup of Nations and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, Keshi has won three of eight games, drawn three and lost two.

The matches lost were the 3-2 defeat by seven-time African champions Egypt in Dubai on April 12 and the 0-1 incident against Copa America bronze medalists Peru in Lima on May 23. Of the remaining matches, Keshi's Eagles have beaten African champions Zambia and Liberia in friendlies and Namibia in a FIFA World Cup qualifier, and drawn with Botswana and Angola in friendlies and against Rwanda in a 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying match in Kigali.

"It is crystal clear even at this point that the re-building project is not a vain venture. Surely, the Super Eagles now play with far greater enthusiasm and vivacity, and they fight hard on the field. The goals may not have come aplenty against Namibia but we created chances and were simply unlucky to have won by only one goal.

"The NFF is grateful for the support and encouragement that Keshi and the team have been getting, and wish to call for even more support and understanding from ball fans and the generality of Nigerians.

"On our part as a Federation, we will continue to give the team maximum support and create conducive environment for Coach Keshi and his players to succeed in the task of qualifying for the 2013 Cup of Nations and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, and generally making us all happy again," said Maigari.

The Super Eagles, now training in Abuja, fly to Blantyre today night for Saturday's important 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil qualifier against the Flames, taking place at the Kamuzu Stadium.

A week after, the Eagles take on Rwanda's Amavubi at the U. J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar in the return leg of a 2013 African Cup of Nations qualifying fixture, which first leg ended 0-0 in Kigali on February 29.

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