27 June 2017

Nigeria: Eagles Won't Rate Cameroon Based On Confederations Cup Outing - NFF

Photo: allafrica.com
Super Eagles' Michael Obi and Indomitable Lions' Benjamin Moukandjo (file photo).

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says the Super Eagles would not use the performance by Indomitable Lions of Cameroon at the on-going FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia as yardstick in rating them ahead of their World Cup qualifiers in August.

The Eagles have a double-header with the Lions on August 28 in Uyo with the return fixture four days later in Limbe. Cameroun, who are the African champions, were knocked out of the Confederations Cup in Russia on Sunday following a 3-1 defeat to Germany, exiting with one point from three matches.

Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, Secretary General of the NFF, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said Cameroun held no threat to Nigeria's qualification for the World Cup, but added that the Lions must not be rated based on their performance at the Confederations Cup.

"We have never seen Cameroun as a threat to our World Cup qualification, but I don't want us to underrate them based on their poor performance in Russia because we may be in for a shocker if we do so," Sanusi said. "A team that performed so poorly in one competition could do well in another. I watched them in two matches and I don't see anything fantastic about Cameroun."

Meanwhile, handler of the Indomitable Lioness, Coach Hugo Broos says Cameroun need to improve their football infrastructure if they wanted to compete with the world's top teams.

Despite winning the Africa Cup of Nations in February, Broos added that the five-time continental champions had to stop living on their past success and face reality.

The Lions have just two points from their first two games in African group B in the race to Russia 2018 World Cup, four behind leaders Nigeria. Only the winners qualify.

"It was not a surprise for me. I always said after we won the Nations Cup that we are one of the best teams in Africa but there is still a difference between us and modern football," Broos said after Sunday's defeat.

"We saw the proof that a lot of work still needs to be done... it is, of course, a quality issue, but it's mostly a training issue," the Belgian said. "There is a lot to be done on that front in Cameroon, we still live on our past successes.

"I am not pointing the finger at any player, I'm just pointing to the training issues in Cameroon," he said.

"There is a lack of pitches, there is a lack of infrastructure in the country which is why it is impossible to train good footballers for modern football, so this is our main disadvantage.

"If we do qualify for the World Cup next year, we are going to have to start thinking about solving this problem for the future."

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