The Super Eagles will play a further two friendly matches before the start of the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt where they would be expected to “compete favourably for honours” the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said.
The decision was among a number communicated through a communique drawn up at the end of the Federation’s Executive Council meeting held in Asaba, Delta State on Monday, 25th March 2019.
The friendly matches according to the communique will come up “during the FIFA free windows before the championship” which should make it between 3rd and 11th June, 2019.
In a message clearly aimed at Super Eagles manager Gernot Rohr and can be interpreted as setting a target for the Super Eagles at the 24-team continental showpiece, the Executive Committee noted that the “Nigeria National Teams would always compete favourably for honours at major championships and not attend simply to make up the number”.
The Super Eagles beat Seychelles 3-1 in their final 2019 AFCON qualifier on Friday, 22nd March and will find out their Nations Cup opponents when the draws are held on April 12th for the tournament which kicks on the 21st of June, 2019.
Other decisions reached at the meeting include approving a proposal for the Senior Women National Team, the Super Falcons to participate in a tournament in Spain in April and then compete at the 2019 WAFU Cup Tournament in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in May in preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup which kicks off in June.
The Falcons will also make use of the Avita Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria where their male counterparts the Super Eagles camped in the lead up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, for their final pre-World Cup camp.
NFF President Amaju Pinnick had promised to give the team the same level of preparation and treatment as their male counterparts received ahead of the World Cup in Russia and the communique notes that these actions are to ensure the team “perform[s] creditably well” at the tournament where they have been grouped alongside hosts France, Norway and South Korea.
The Executive Committee have also set themselves the ambitious target of building “two Football Pitches in each of the 36 states and the FCT” as part of efforts to align themselves with FIFA’s “emphasis on building … more infrastructure”.
The communique notes that the “mission” to build the 74 pitches across the country “would commence apace” once the Federation has finished building “Mini-Secretariats” in every state and the FCT. It notes that work would commence on the “next batch of selected beneficiary States as soon as the sponsors release the money for the project expectedly before the end of March 2019”.