BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
Chairman of the Edo State Football Association, Franklyn Ilaboya, has predicted that the Super Eagles of Nigeria have a very bright chance of winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
He placed his prediction on the fact that the things required for a successful outing at the mundial are falling in the right places for the team.
According to him:”We(Super Eagles) have a very bright chance of lifting the 2018 World Cup. I want to look at our chances in three components. Let’s look at the players, team officials and management.
“This crop of players are very good. They are young and committed. That could be seen as we were qualifying for the World Cup we had a match to spare.
“That shows that we have ready and committed players most of whom play for some of the best clubs in Europe.
“We have a very good coach(Gernot Rohr) who apart from been sound technically is also a good coach. A good coach in human management.
“Now, let’s talk about administration. For the first time ever the Nigeria Football Federation(NFF) have sat down with the players to talk about their bonuses ahead of the commencement of the tournament so that there would be no crisis during the mundial.
“The players and the officials know how much that they’re going to be paid at every stage of the tournament.
“To me these are good steps. Our problem has always been that during the World Cup we are enmeshed in one problem or the other.
“Nigeria football fans are also optimistic that this is our time. I remember some years ago Pele(Edson Arante De Nacimento) predicted that an African country will shock the world. If that African country is Nigeria then this is the time. So, Russia, here we come!”
Ilaboya sees nothing wrong in Coach Rohr bringing in new players to the World Cup bound team.
“The World Cup is not a tea party. You must fortify your team. Any Nigerian player that’s doing well must be brought to the brought to the party.
“It’s not good that we rely only on some players. If a player gets injured before the World Cup definitely he’ll need to be replaced.
“So, let’s play a lot of friendly matches, try all available players to be able to pick quality ones for the World Cup.
“The only area I don’t want us to tamper with is the area of goalkeeping. I don’t support the idea that Vincent Enyeama should be recalled and for good reasons.
“One, he was the captain of the team before he had issues with the then coach, Sunday Oliseh.
“The moment you call him back the first thing he’ll do is to ask for the return of his captain band. That will no doubt destabilise the team which at present is riding on the crest of a good chemistry among the players.”
BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN