The Nigeria Football Federation has asked Nigerians not to panic following the widely publicised plot by Malawian coaches to help their national football team, the Flames bring down the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the last group match of the 2014 World Cup qualifier on September 6, in Calabar.
The First Vice President of the NFF, Chief Mike Umeh described the reported meeting of Malawi national team coach, Tom Saintfiet with other coaches in Blantyre last week as “a mere propaganda,” adding that, “we have nothing to fear because we will be playing on our soil.”
He said, “What they are doing is mind games and we are up for it. Remember, we will be playing in Calabar. We have never lost a match in Calabar, so I don’t see how we will start with Malawi who held us to a draw with a late equaliser in their own home.”
Umeh dismissed as “untrue” insinuations that Saintfiet whose employment as technical director by the NFF was scuttled in the last minute was out for a vengeful mission against Nigeria.
“No. He cannot do that because he has to keep faith. Who says he cannot be employed tomorrow? Look at Keshi who is in charge of the Super Eagles today; he had been turned down before. So, Saintfiet cannot think that way. Even if he does, he is only a coach who will pass instructions. He won’t do the playing.”
Umeh assured that the Eagles will soar over the Flames because the Stephen Keshi-tutored team was superior to their Malawi counterparts. “We are African champions and will ensure we get the right result.”