Daily Trust (Abuja)

22 December 2012

Nigeria: AFCON 2013 - No Pressure On Eagles

The Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi has debunked insinuations that the Federal government was mounting pressure on the National football team to lift the trophy at the end of next January's Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.

The Minister said this when he paid a surprise visit to the Super Eagles during their Saturday morning training at the Abuja National Stadium.

Also, he took time off to deny that the Federal government threatened that it was going to disband the team if it failed to win the said trophy.

"There is no form of pressure coming from the Presidency or my humble self but I have the belief in this team that they will do the nation proud at the Nations Cup.

"But we want the team to be relaxed and offer the best challenge when the competition starts in January", Abdullahi maintained.

The Minister also promised to be in Faro, Portugal, where the team will camp for the championship to offer his support to the team ahead of the championship.

He declared that he has absolute confidence in the ability of the team to represent Nigeria creditably at the tournament.

Head Coach Stephen Keshi thanked the Minister for the visit and said he would be welcomed in Faro, Portugal, promising that the team will not let the nation down during the Nations Cup.

Home Eagles Skipper, Chigozie Agbim, said the Minister's visit was a morale booster, while winger Ejike Uzoenyi said such visit will help the team prepare hard for the Nations Cup championship

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