Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria/Mali: We Need Trophy More Than Mali - Kwande

Photo: Chris Ricco/Backpagepix
Nigeria's Emmanuel Emenike, 9, celebrates one of the goals which have made him the tournament's top scorer.

A member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee Suleiman Kwande has declared that Nigeria needs the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy to bring peace in the land more than the Malians, who are also eyeing the trophy for the same purpose.

Kwande, who is also a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports, told Daily Trust here that considering the position of football as a unifying tool in the country, he believes that winning the trophy will bring lasting peace in the land.

He expressed optimistic that the Super Eagles have improved tremendously at the tournament and are now favourites to win the trophy on Sunday.

"One thing I want to say is that Mali's victory has brought a lot of peace in their country and we are going to compound their problem by wining in Wednesday's semi-final, because we also have a lot of problems at home and football unites us.

"So, I see us going all the way and taking the trophy back to Nigeria at the end of the tournament", the parliamentarian said.

Speaking further, the lawmaker appealed to Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi to give the NFF board free hands to its job of advancing the country's football, particularly the hiring of a foreign Technical Director for the country's national football teams.

"The minister stopped the issue of hiring a foreign Technical Director for the national teams, but after the Nations Cup, we the NFF Executive Committee members will sit down with the minister and let him knows that he should allow us do what is supposed to be done.

"We were elected, not appointed to represent different zones, and if we fail to perform, we will be pushed out; so he should oversee us but allow us do our job",he concluded.

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