Former Super Eagles stopper, Peter Rufai, has advised Nigerians and Super Eagles fans not to panick about the latest FIFA rankings of the national team.
The Super Eagles had dropped from 50th positions in the world to 51 and 9th in Africa despite impressive performances and being the first African team to qualify for the Russian”s 2018 world cup.
Rufai, while speaking with newsmen, on Sunday, at the Haliru Abdu Stadium, in Birnin-Kebbi during the closing ceremony of the U-20 Dodo Mayana soccer tournament where eight teams participated ,noted that the ranking should not demoralised the teams and the technical crews.
” I think the FIFA ranking has nothing to do with expectations of the performance of Super Eagle in any competition. The ranking involved some technical aspects. It has nothing to do with our performance. Because,Super Eagle is doing very well,they are performing excellently. I agree that this ranking is not good enough, if we considered how we have played with the best teams in world who are second ranking in the world, but we could break the jinx anytime. All that matters is our preparation for any competition.
“Nigerians should not worry about the FIFA ranking because before ranking, Super Eagle had qualified for the world cup. So, we qualified even before most of the best-ranked teams in the world. I believed that what matter most now is to be focus, looking ahead,one day,we would breaks the gist again just like how we had qualified before most of these best ranked African teams.”
Dodo Mayana said that the technical department of the team had everything to excel in Russian 2018 .
” The Super Eagle am seeing now are in higher esteem. Their high esteem does not mean that they could beat any team. Their high esteem is to tell you that this is good engine, it now depends on how we drive this engine that matter. It is how the technical department handle this engine that would determined how far they can go and this would be base of technical analysis of the opponents,studying them and technical approach to the games would determined how far they can go.”he said.
Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, who witnessed the closing ceremony of the four day tournament, disclosed that his administration plans to construct four different stadia in Yauri, Zuru, Argungu and Birnin-Kebbi as part of measures to develop sports, and encourage youth participations.
He urged the selected players, who are to form Kebbi Utd first team and feeder’s team to be disciplined and hardworking, saying they should not allow unproductive friends to discourage them from attaining success.
The Governor also promised that his administration would renovates Haliru Abdu stadium and continue to empower youths in various aspects of life.