Nigeria: Babangida Demands Tough Group for Eagles, Yarma Welcomes Any Group

Nigeria national football team players.
30 November 2017

Ahead of tomorrow's Russia 2018 World Cup draws in Moscow, a former Super Eagles winger, Tijani Babangida has said his desire is to see Nigeria grouped along with some of the best football nations in the world.

Also yesterday, the pioneer Executive Chairman of Gombe Sports Commission, Malam Farouk Yarma has said with the present form of the Super Eagles, they are good to take on any team at the 2018 World Cup.

Speaking to Daily Trust yesterday, the former Ajax Amsterdam star who represented Nigeria at the 1998 World Cup in France said a difficult group would compel the Eagles to step up their preparations for the World Cup.

He said when grouped with nations that are erroneously seen as weak, the Eagles might decide to take things for granted and the outcome at the World Cup would be disappointment.

Babangida also said since there are no more minnows in world football, there is no need for anyone to pray for the Eagles to have a 'favourable group' because every country that has qualified for the mundial will be a hard nut to crack.

"My wish is that the Super Eagles should be grouped with the big nations. This is because if they are going to face these powerhouses, they will definitely redouble their efforts.

"Moreover there are no more small teams in world football. Only a few people believed the Eagles would beat Argentina in the friendly they played recently. However, they did not only win but won convincingly.

"The so called small countries are now giving the big teams a run for their money so I want the Eagles to be in the same group with the big teams. To be world champion, you must be ready to beat the best at any given time," he said.

Babangida also said the technical adviser of the team, Gernot Rohr is a lucky and ambitious man as can be seen in his outing so far with the Super Eagles.

He said the Franco-German tactician's luck might follow him to the World Cup and the Eagles would spring surprises.

On his part, Yarma, who is part of NFF's delegation to Moscow for the draws said the Eagles used the friendly against Argentina to tell the whole world that they are ready for the big stage in Russia.

He said at the risk of sounding arrogant, he wants Nigerians to believe in the present Super Eagles and not lose any sleep over the draws that will hold tomorrow.

Yarma also explained that there are no underdogs in world football so those who are praying fervently for the Eagles to be in the same group with weak teams are making a serious mistake.

"By the special grace of God, I will be live at the venue of the draws for the World Cup. I am not praying for the Eagles to be in any particular group. Any group will be good for them," he stated.

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