Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye, has received the news of Nigeria’s pairing against Ethiopia in the play-off of the 2014 World Cup with happiness and heaved a sigh of relief that the Super Eagles avoided strong football playing nations like Cameroun, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana and Egypt.
Elegbeleye, however urged the Stephen Keshi tutored team to treat the two-legged, 2014 World Cup play-off against Ethiopia with all the seriousness it deserved in order to ensure that Nigeria book her place among the finals of the 2014 Mundial in Brazil.
The former House of Representatives member from Ondo State who received the news of the final play-off with happiness was quick to warn that the Eagles should not underrate the Ethiopians which according to him are a strong side as far as African football is concerned.
"This pairing is nice if we consider the fact that we were able to avoid the big names in African football like Cameroun, Egypt, Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana but that doesn't mean that we will stroll past Ethiopia to get the World Cup ticket, no, not at all.
"We all watched how Ethiopia played very well against the Super Eagles in the last group match of the last Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa which eventually ended in 2-0 Nigeria's favour with Victor Moses slotting home the two spot kicks. But if not for the individual brilliance of Moses, the Ethiopians almost held Nigeria to a stalemate because they were able to absorb all the attacking pressures from the Eagles then.
"I believe we have the edge and quality players in the Eagles to deliver the ticket by beating Ethiopia home and away. But it is not going to be easy but our players are capable of doing that,” stressed the DG.
Elegbeleye assured the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the entire Super Eagles and their technical crew led by Keshi that the NSC will do all things necessary to support the team to achieve this lofty ambition of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“I am confident that by the grace of God, Nigeria will be among the teams that will campaign in the global football competition in Brazil," concludes Elegbeleye.