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Super Eagles 2022 World Cup Absence Still ‘Haunting’, Says Pinnick

Nigeria currently holds third place in Group C with only two points from two games.

By Paul Tuama

Amaju Pinnick, former President of the Nigeria Football Federation and a FIFA council member, still feels the sting of Nigeria’s inability to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Pinnick shared this sentiment during an interview with Arise TV. The Super Eagles missed out on the World Cup after a 1-1 aggregate score against rivals Ghana, losing on the away goal rule.

Nearly two years later, Pinnick, who was NFF president at the time, expressed his lingering disappointment and urged the current NFF to fully support new coach Finidi George for the upcoming crucial World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin Republic. Nigeria currently holds third place in Group C with only two points from two games.

 “Backroom staffing is more scientific right now. If he (Finidi) says he needs three backroom assistants, perhaps one for goalkeeper training, the others are for other positions.

“The assistant coaches are the engine room of the success of any coach because they see what the coach can’t see. They call his attention to things that he cannot see even before games. It is the backroom staff that makes up the team.

“The coach is just like the leader, he harmonises and streamlines everything that they tell him and puts it to use but it goes beyond that.

“But then, it depends on funding from the federation, but I think it is not out of place. Finidi should be allowed to do what he wants to do. But if there is a paucity of funds, they can discuss it with him because we have critical matches.”

Pinnick added, “I cannot imagine Nigeria not being at the next World Cup, it is unthinkable. Even the last one that we didn’t attend is still haunting me because I was the leader of the federation at that point.

“So, we must do everything possible to ensure that we get to that point where we can qualify.”

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